Allie

Ruaraidh Murray’s new play is a solid - though far from stunning - tale of a marriage turned very sour. Beginning with a monologue about the little known existence of female ninjas in feudal Japan, the narrative then asks whether such female ninjas are possible in modern day Scotland. Answer: yes. It’s a solid love story turned revenge tragedy with no particularly outstanding twists or turns.

Clichéd but effective, Allie won’t blow you away, but it will take you along.

The performances are well-delivered and affecting. Megan Shandley as the eponymous heroine does a good job at expressing vulnerability while at the same time gradually hardening throughout the show. Her arc shows with great subtlety how pain can be transmuted into a kind of righteous fury. Murray’s performance as the bullying sadist Robbie does not have quite so much depth, though it is unclear as to whether this is a problem with the acting or the writing. For most of the play he is little more than a motiveless sadist. The attempt to pin this on his painful childhood is briefly made and not convincing. Especially after we learn that Allie too was abused as a child. The play trots out this trope with all the sensitivity of a grenade but without any of the explosive effect.

The play can also boast a quick aggressive humour, but which relies primarily on the rhythmical repetition of dirty words. The script feels very consciously ‘written’, and while this works for some of the jokes, it undermines the believability of the characters. The production is still engrossing, however. The combination of lights and music during some of the tougher sequences provide a chilling counterpoint to what is seen onstage. There’s a nineties retro feel to everything, which jars wonderfully with the increasingly depraved storyline.

Clichéd but effective, Allie won’t blow you away, but it will take you along.  

Reviews by Rory Mackenzie

Pleasance Dome

Unmythable

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Girl from Nowhere

★★★★
Gilded Balloon

Allie

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Boris: World King

★★★★★
C venues - C nova

Some Thing New

★★
Pleasance Courtyard

A+E

★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Revenge is best served radge! A new dark comedy from the creator of critically acclaimed shows Big Sean, Mikey and Me, Bath Time and Boxman. 'Quentin Tarantino meets Irvine Welsh. Very funny' **** (Scotsman). 'Firecracker of a show' **** (Herald). 'Murray's bravura performance' **** (Metro). 'Phenomenal. Must see!' **** (Stage).