Marking Time

Stuck in a lift, Ruth waits to escape in order to visit her husband who has recently been diagnosed with cancer. As she awaits rescue, she looks back on the diagnosis, her life and her father’s demise. A touching one woman show, Marking Time is a performance that explores the struggle with mortality and a fast-changing world.

An important show which gently and sensitively explores a topic that certainly needs to be discussed and opened up to discussion outside the auditorium.

Marking Time is a touching performance and one that handles the sensitive subject of cancer with eloquence and heart. It is as much about an individual’s journey as it is an ode to the NHS and the positive way it cares for those in the cancer wards. The writing is generally eloquent, if a little clichéd, and the subject matter is addressed head-on with a frankness that is refreshing, particularly when many people tiptoe around the subject of cancer or feel uncomfortable facing mortality.

Rachel McKenzie’s no-nonsense Ruth is relatable as she discusses her own experience of the diagnosis and the way in which she processes the news. The brutal honesty and admittance of her selfish fears is performed with honesty and yet one still feels sympathy. However, the combination of many clichés and constant nostalgia makes the script too sentimental at times which undermines the genuine sentiments that appear at vulnerable moments. Furthermore, while Ruth is relatable, McKenzie’s expression often remains on one note and when she breaks down, it is difficult to identify with her. The diction and projection faltered which was a shame as this held the line delivery back.

Unfortunately, the execution of Ruth is inconsistent and with this, the subject matter is less affecting when the whole performance relies on one woman. But, this is an important show which gently and sensitively explores a topic that certainly needs to be discussed and opened up to discussion outside the auditorium.

Reviews by Caitlin Powell

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Tom has cancer. Wife Ruth, a woman in a hurry, gets stuck in the hospital lift on way to a meeting with Tom's consultant. Trapped in the lift until an NHS engineer arrives, currently on the other side of Edinburgh, Ruth unravels their journey from shock diagnosis, radiotherapy, to these new results the consultant is about to deliver. Has the treatment bought them some more time? What about the people they have met along the way? Witty, poignant, hopeful take on marking time, and, at the end of the day, romance. Transcript of show available for Deaf audience.

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