One Woman Alien @ Sweet Grassmarket

In the theatre, everyone can hear you scream

Review by Grace Lavender | 31 Aug 2018
  • One Woman Alien

One Woman Alien does exactly what it says on the tin. One woman, Heather-Rose Andrews, acts out the entirety of Alien by herself in one hour. Created by Cast Iron Theatre Company, and written and directed by its co-founder Andrew Allen, this production is perfect for cult followers and newbies alike.

Andrews does not attempt to fool the audience into thinking that they are going to watch an accurate recreation of Alien. She explains at the beginning that her show is a parody, and constantly breaks character to explain certain plot points, or to make observations about the film’s history and significance. Not only does this make the audience feel more connected to her, it is completely necessary that she explains the aspects of the plot that her budget props might not make completely clear.

The characters of Ripley, Lambert, Brett, Kane, Ash, Parker and Dallas are differentiated from one another using quick costume and voice changes. While Andrews succeeds in separating the characters from each other there is an awareness of how ridiculous her task is, creating great comic impact. Ridiculous death scenes, puppet aliens and toy cats ensure that the audience is laughing from beginning to end, and Andrews’ energy is infectious throughout.

Often breaking character to analyse the Alien movies, Andrews is quick to address the franchise’s famously feminist message, asking the audience how progressive Alien really is. Equally, she addresses the casting of Yaphet Kotto as Parker, suggesting that Ridley Scott’s diversity quota might not have been filled out of a genuine passion for equality. Overall, One Woman Alien is a fun, high-speed production, perfect for Alien fans both old and new.

One Woman Alien, Sweet Grassmarket, run ended

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