Grasmere

Everyone has that one acquaintance: the one who TiVo’s 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 Fabio’s chest thrusting out at the world. That friend will love Grasmere. If only the rest of us were so lucky.

Heavily influenced by Dorothy Wordsworth’s 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 Dorothy’s hand hesitantly tapped Samuel’s 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

Reviews by Fritzie Andrade

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The Blurb

Lives unravel as jealousy, addiction and love threaten to tear them apart. In the exquisite seclusion of the Lake District, William and Dorothy Wordsworth live happily until the unexpected arrival of old friends promises to change their lives forever.

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