Everyone has that one acquaintance: the one who TiVos Dynasty reruns religiously, who would never dream of being anything but the first person in line to catch the latest Meg Ryan film, and who has a bookshelf crying out to be liberated from the weight of paperbacks with Fabios chest thrusting out at the world. That friend will love Grasmere. If only the rest of us were so lucky.
Heavily influenced by Dorothy Wordsworths famous Grasmere Journal, the audience is transported back to the Romantic Age when Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a close friend of siblings William and Dorothy Wordsworth, was labouring over The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Unlikely romances begin to emerge with the appearance of Mary Hutchinson, along with a series of betrayals, as all four characters play house (and drink lots of tea) under the same roof.
Seemingly intended to be a historical feminist piece, Grasmere is more of a drawn out beach book brought to life. Long flowery dialogue, a cheesy backdrop, un-engaging acting, and a couple of terrible accents create the setting for this would-be daytime drama. Additionally, if you do find yourself in the audience, you will need to prepare yourself for the worst stage slap in Fringe history. As Dorothys hand hesitantly tapped Samuels face in a questionable fit of rage, all I could do was look down and groan. Stay home and read a Charlotte Brontë novel instead.
Fritzie reviewed the Edinburgh preview of the show in New York at 59e59