Box Clever

Writer Monsay Whitney’s Box Clever is one of the most important shows up at the Edinburgh Fringe this year. Young Londoner Marnie is lippy, brazen, and - she admits – a little on the nuts side. After string of abusive lovers she finds herself boxed in at a women’s refuge in London. As we watch her intently as she battles with the system, trying to secure the safety of her 4 year old daughter Autumn, we are given an insight into the tumultuous circus that is the social care system.

Nabokov Theatre Company’s unpredictable, witty, and deeply moving show leaves the audience with a truthful and terrifying insight into Marnie’s predicament.

Aptly performed in Summerhall’s Roundabout theatre space, Whitney is supported by Avi Simmon’s clown who sings love songs and fools around in her red nose. Simmons’s clown playfully creates chaos on the stage, and then jumps in to become many characters in Marnie’s life. Most memorable is when she plays four year old Autumn struggling to tell a deeply uncomfortable experience to her mother. In the moments where she speaks with absolute sincerity, her red nose becomes irrelevant and we believe completely in the characters she embodies. Then with a snap, Whitney’s delivery of Marnie’s snappy, hilarious and heartfelt narration commands the stage and reclaims the audience’ attention.

Marnie’s London is given life through sound mixing with live music, lighting and text, transporting us to different settings, they feel like real places we know or corners of Marnie’s mind. Whitney’s text is infused with anger, vulnerability, comedy and overwhelming honesty. Between the two performers and the audience, the relationship is so familiar that there is a feeling of us all being a part of Marnie’s story. Nabokov Theatre Company’s unpredictable, witty, and deeply moving show leaves the audience with a truthful and terrifying insight into Marnie’s predicament.

Reviews by Isabella Javor

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The Blurb

'Ever get the feeling you’re going round in one big circle? Ten years. Back and forth between a trio of arseholes and nothing to show for it except a baby, an Argos ring and a busted nose. At the refuge they call that a pattern.' Moving, truthful and darkly comic, Box Clever by nabokov’s associate-playwright Monsay Whitney, with music performed by Avi Simmons, is a new play about one woman’s experience of a refuge and a mother’s commitment to do the best for her daughter.

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