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The Ensemble from 'Measure for Measure' 2001

Edinburgh Spotlight*** - 2010: Suspicious Minds

Date Published: 19 May 2010

We're caught in a trap - Suspicious Minds

In a play where The King features so prominently, you just know it’s going to end with that line.

Elvis leaving the building is really the only predictable thing you’ll be exposed to in Suspicious Minds, the latest production from Edinburgh-based theatre company Siege Perilous.

Director and company co-founder Andy Corelli tends the bar in this innovative site-specific production at The GRV. With a complex and clever script by Edinburgh writer Caroline Dunford, the four-strong cast act and narrate their way through a tale of friendship, murder and childhood secrets.

Allan Scott-Douglas portrays Elvis-loving John extremely well, with a perfect balance of Scottish hardman bravado and emotional immaturity. Ruth Tapp as his overlooked wife Fiona is also excellent, and is given the most to work with by Dunford’s script, convincingly portraying the inner thoughts and feelings of a woman whose dreams have been dashed by her husband’s cheating heart.

The script flits between the present and episodes from the characters’ past, where the actors demonstrate their range by stepping into the shoes of their childhood and adolescent selves. This is effective and easy to follow, not really needing the audience asides where the characters explain what’s going on.

Colin Little as Dave exudes menace throughout, his rough exterior concealing a manipulative mind beneath. And recent QMU graduate Bill Addison can be justifiably proud of his first professional performance as mild-mannered and troubled Tim, capturing the stoically British essence of a man frustrated at how his life has turned out.

Direction and staging is effective and original, with the cast making use of the intimate venue and limited props and costumes to tell the dark and compelling tale. The choice of venue is also effective – although due to its small, in-the-round nature you may find yourself sitting directly in the glare of a spotlight.

Pop art comic book paintings hang on the walls of The GRV bar. Suspicious Minds has some of the same surreal and fantastical qualities, but it is to the company and cast’s credit that they turn this into a multi-layered and intriguing performance which grips from the outset and doesn’t let go until the final ‘thank you very much’.

Suspicious Minds runs until Saturday 29th at the GRV. Tickets are £6 and can be booked online.

Keith D
Edinburgh Spotlight

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