Some argue that the Fringe has become too corporate and professional, thus pushing amateur groups out of the scene. However, the Kirkintilloch Players are firmly standing their ground at the festival with a strong and thought-provoking performance of
Her Slightest Touch presents a really interesting relationship between two contrasting characters with humour and sensitivity.
In this short one-act play of only two characters, a dull, middle-aged man showing signs of nervousness arrives for an appointment with a bold and seemingly self-secure young prostitute. As the meeting progresses, it becomes increasingly obvious to her that her client is uncomfortable engaging in any kind of sexual discourse, much to her confusion. The discussions they have instead revolve around their lives, and force the prostitute to confront the trials and tribulations of her own past and present situation, leading the two characters to eventually find some common ground.
There wasn’t one moment in Her Slightest Touch when my mind wandered. I was constantly gripped. Even before the play had started, the detail that had gone into the bedroom set was intriguing. Small details like red heels discarded on the floor and a lacey bra hanging over the changing partition showed real attention to detail. The stage looks naturally cluttered in such a way that it was hard to believe it had been deliberate. The conversation between the man and woman takes so many bizarre twists and turns that I was constantly waiting for where it was going next. The gently choreographed balance between drama and comedy also keeps us engaged. There is much humour at the opening of the play as the man keeps ducking the woman's sexual advances, especially when her attempts become bolder the more her vexation grew, but the play takes a sadder turn when we learn the true reasons for the man’s reluctance.
The performers Keith Robinson and Louise Lawson play extremely well off each other and I honestly do not think I have ever seen two more contrasting characters on one stage! Body language is used cleverly to highlight their differences, which are portrayed so opaquely that it was truly emotional when the pair finally find common ground. In fact, the very ending of the play brought tears to my eyes. The only thing I would improve about their performances was their control of nervous energy. Occasionally Lawson fidgets a little too much, to the point where it becomes distracting, and Robinson often stammers too much. Also, Robinson’s effort to remain dull and ordinary means he is a little too still at times and could show more emotion when talking about his character’s wife.
Her Slightest Touch presents a really interesting relationship between two contrasting characters with humour and sensitivity. The Kirkintilloch Players should be proud of their efforts and I would encourage them to grace the Fringe with their talents again.