Leave Me

Boy meets girl. He seems reserved, she more outgoing. They go back to her apartment, he doesn’t leave in the morning and gradually they fall in love. So far, so straightforward. An act of sexual violence then turns everything on its head as Act One show a darker side of relationships that is sadly all too common.

Leave Me is a brave, intimate piece of theatre that you sense will only become better as its run progresses.

Leave Me, written and directed by Kate O’Connell-Lauder, tackles its difficult subject material head on with a bravery that is welcome to see in such a young company. The gambles it takes don’t always pay off but there are some touching sequences to be found and the issue and portrayal of rape is dealt with respectfully and with sensitivity.

Thomas Greene is impressive as Isaac, the warm boyfriend turned drunken aggressor, as he tries to come to terms with his actions and where they might lead him. Jo Beck shows Ella’s transformation from an innocent girl who asks to be kissed to a defiant woman betrayed by her lover with a tender performance made all the stronger by the fact that she is an understudy and had arrived in Edinburgh on the afternoon of this particular performance. The pair can therefore be cut some slack if their chemistry is a little off. Their individual performances are admirable but when together, as they are for the majority of the piece, the intimate, physical sequences lack a certain spark. They both appear more comfortable in the second half where anger is their primary passion, as opposed to lust.

Neither character is explored in any depth but you get the sense that this was deliberate on O’Connell-Lauder’s part: the characters are ciphers, blank slates upon which we can project ourselves. The message clearly is that this could happen to anyone; the piece is genuinely thought-provoking to this end. However, this also means that the dialogue is oddly non-specific and this works against whatever realism is to be found in the situation – there are only so many context-free arguments that can be had before it all becomes a bit repetitive.

That said, the play does try to engage neutrally with a thorny subject, which is to be admired, as is the length of time it takes to tell Isaac and Ella’s doomed story: at 40 minutes, the show is the perfect length to get its point across without outstaying its welcome. Nia Squirrel’s solo violin accompaniment also adds a touch of class, although why her playing isn’t used in the frequent (and tiring) blackout transitions is unclear.

Leave Me is a brave, intimate piece of theatre that you sense will only become better as its run progresses. At this stage though, it can realistically be taken or left.

Reviews by Sam Forbes

Summerhall

Borderlands

★★★★
Summerhall

The Ex

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

You're Not Like the Other Girls Chrissy

★★★★
Cafe Camino

Woolly Eyed Turtle 3D

★★★★
Summerhall @ Tom Fleming Centre

To Sleep To Dream

★★★★★
Zoo Southside

Quiet Violence

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Leave Me is an intimate exploration of sex and power in relationships, unashamedly tackling the often untold truths many women encounter. Using live music and physical theatre in an intimate in-the-round setting, Leave Me is a powerful piece, exploring an issue currently saturating the media although rarely explored in drama. Leave Me is about the consequences of when boy meets girl and the happiness and pain that can result. ‘The writing is disconcertingly cheerful, then suddenly bleak. The physical performances … were striking’ **** (ThreeWeeks on The Institute).

Most Popular See More

Mary Poppins

From £37.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets