As Rita (Judith Paris) carefully sorts through the trunk packed with artefacts from her past, she recounts the tale of her evolving friendship with Angie, her childhood playmate and life-long friend. Each dizzying joy and deepest sorrow is lovingly shared between the two women in this beautifully performed gem of new writing by Ronnie Dorsey.
A Fine Line is an enormously affecting (and surprisingly subversive) portrait of a relationship.
Rita, speaking of growing up in the North during the last half-century, reflects that “we didn’t talk about feelings back then”. This is certainly not the case now, as she voices every hope and fear buried in her recollections, beginning with early pubescent fumblings and continuing right through to her twilight years, where we meet her struggling to cope with bidding Angie farewell one last time.
It is Paris's performance as Rita which makes this one-woman piece throb with emotion. With eyes swimming in memories, she compels you to listen to her personal navigation of the evolving social mores of the changing times, aware that she too has developed and altered. Rita’s love and affection for someone who never once appears onstage feels as natural and believable as breathing. Her movement through the performance space, tenderly caressing symbols of those with whom she shared her life, is a pleasure to witness.
A Fine Line is an enormously affecting (and surprisingly subversive) portrait of a relationship. While the structure of the narrative is perhaps somewhat predictable, the piece nevertheless illustrates that even in the seemingly simplest of stories, those things which matter most - friendship, love and loss – can be utterly earth-shattering. In addition, A Fine Line is to be praised for exploring the extent to which age moulds our recollections and perceptions - a subject too often underrepresented in fringe theatre.