Review: The Carousel

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AFTER the success of The List in 2012, Québec dramatist, Jennifer Tremblay, is back at the Fringe with the second instalment of her trilogy looking at three aspects of one woman’s life.

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The Carousel continues that journey, which sees our un-named narrator exploring her own past and her family. Covering three generations, grandmother, mother and daughter, each character is brought to life by actress Maureen Beattie.

Beattie performs each character with real gusto. There’s not one point where you see any sign of her energy filtering away. Amongst her poignant memories of her upbringing, Beattie clearly demonstrates that she’s indeed a troubled character. As a woman frustrated and determined to discover her dying mother’s past, she’s someone who has a powerful stage presence.

Though Tremblay’s script is a cleverly constructed piece, the density of it all can become somewhat frantic, which can be a struggle to get into the story’s rhythm and may leave you disconnected.

John Byrne’s set design is perhaps a show stealer in itself. Its panel backdrop of fairy lights mixed with imagery of the Catholic church and the fairground perfectly reflects a haunting dreamlike state. All the while, Jeanine Byrne’s lighting design wonderfully adds to that atmosphere.

Until 24 August