Dead To Me
  • By Kyung Oh
  • |
  • 19th Aug 2014
  • |
  • ★★★

A man has come to see a psychic. She tells him he has a gift. He is sceptical at first, but week after week he returns to see her. Tessa Parr puts on a charming performance as the kooky psychic. Her red skirt puffs and flutters with every bounce of her step. She is eccentric, free spirited and unconventional in the way she misses social cues while talking to people. She draws circles in the air, pushes and pulls with her waving hands like a tai-chi master while she channels the spirits. Parr draws many chuckles from the audience with her performance as the zany psychic whose mind is half in another world.

A very entertaining play, with lots and lots of potential.

The performance of Gary Kitching as the man could be a bit more varied. Though his character goes through several emotional stages during the play - from sceptical and hesitant at first to becoming emotionally attached to the healer - Kitching’s vocal tones and facial expressions remain quite uniform across the play. A bit more precise directing would help make the interactions between the two characters more animated and engaging.

The dialogue consists mostly of what one expects from a story about a psychic reader. There have been many documentaries and YouTube clips about cold-reading techniques, so parts of how the script develops feel foreseeable at times, but there are promising threads dispersed throughout the play. The sections about how the woman came to be a psychic and what her relationship with her grandmother was like could be pushed further into very interesting places. The play begins to explore the implications of what a child’s life might become if she is noticed to have a gift and pushed into a career she doesn’t choose. The writer (Gary Kitching) might develop these ideas further, especially since the man’s choices in the latter part of the play provide an interesting contrast to the psychic’s approach to her profession; it’s a very entertaining play, with lots and lots of potential.

Reviews by Kyung Oh

Underbelly, Cowgate

Before Us

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Men in the Cities

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Years to the Day

★★
theSpace on Niddry St

Can't Stay Away!

Summerhall

Snoutology for Beginners

★★★★
C venues - C

The Road to Skibbereen

★★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Steven is a believer - he believes in reason, logic and humanity. The psychic believes in the spirits. Dead To Me is a disturbingly funny story about a man and his troubled relationship with a psychic and her spirit guide. When the truth is confronted, an irreversible chain of events is set in motion and Steven finds out that living people can be unnecessarily cruel. The dead are easier to deal with. ‘Very funny for all the wrong reasons’ (WhatsOnStage.com on Me and Mr C by Gary Kitching).