Stacy

Rob keeps reminding us that he was ‘a beautiful child‘. His life has been informed by this fact, he repeats, during his account of a couple of days of upheaval. Rob has managed to sleep with his best friend, Stacy, as well as her flatmate Rhona - though Rob’s funny, intimately detailed account of these events lapse into something unexpectedly chilling. The beautiful child, favourite of the family, is now a slightly odd twenty-something encountering disturbing issues.Jack Thorne’s fascinating monologue is an excellent platform for Nic McQuillan, who is surely one of the most able young actors at this year’s Fringe. As Rob, he is endlessly engaged and engaging, as well as fearless from the outset; he eyeballs me for at least a minute as he recounts a rehearsed declaration of feelings. Throughout, Rob speaks personally and personably to members of the audience, allying us to him and thus making the slow reveal of his actions all the more unnerving. My focus on McQuillan only drops at one point, but this is due to one of the script’s weaker patches rather than the actor’s skill.McQuillan’s penchant for natural delivery is knowingly disrupted by an often amusing slideshow, which aids Rob as he discusses characters (here’s Stacy; here’s Rob’s mum) and situations (here’s ‘sex’ - a group of sexual images flash up in quick succession). Half-powerpoint, half-overtly theatrical, the slideshow fosters the strange sense that we are watching both a jolly self presentation and a confessional; it captures the monologue’s duality. Thus, through fine direction from Nik Partridge and Georgina Ower, and a stand-out performance from McQuillan, Stacy is a subtle triumph.

Reviews by Tess Ellison

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The Blurb

When there’s no one around to tell him right from wrong, except for a copy of FHM, Rob just has to guess. A frank, unsettling and bitingly funny monologue about a young man grappling with 21st century life.

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