EDINBURGH 2019: BWW Review: LEAVE A MESSAGE, Gilded Balloon
Ed's father Nicholas has recently passed away and Ed and his friend Sarah have to clean out his house. Wading through a sea of empty bottles, unopened mail and twenty-year-old receipts, we immediately get a sense that Nicholas led a chaotic life.
We get the sense that Ed and his father weren't particularly close as he picks through what is left of his father's life. Sarah manages to stay quite practical and sets about getting binbags and spray that will get the smell of urine out of the furniture.
There's some light relief peppered throughout the script as Ed and Sarah find humour in the ridiculousness of the situation. Ed accidentally touches his face while removing the piss-stained sheets and has to wash it off with hand sanitizer. They find out that poverty-stricken Nicholas paid a sex worker to have conversations with him- but she took credit cards.
The strength in Leave A Message comes from the friendship between Ed and Sarah. She's there for him in this bleak time of his life and supports him through it but also calls him out on his bad behaviour.
Leave A Message is based on Ed Coleman's real-life experience and is possibly what makes this piece of theatre feel so raw. It's a little slow moving to begin with but overall is a great insight into grief and parental relationships.
Photo credit: David Monteith-Hodge