REVIEW: SITTING (Gilded Balloon) ★★★★
Sitting is the debut play by Katherine Parkinson, better known for her TV roles in The IT Crowd and Humans. This is one of four plays by first time playwrights brought to Edinburgh Fringe by BBC Arts and Avalon Productions.
Sitting is set in an attic artist’s studio. Three models enter loudly and singly, take their seat surrounded by blank canvases and a plate of Jaffa Cakes and begin to speak to John, the unseen artist at the back of the room.
James Alexandrou is Luke, unsure why he’s agreed to have his portrait painted at all; Grace Hogg-Robinson is Cassandra, a young aspiring actress and compulsive liar, whose father is paying for her portrait; Hayley Jayne Standing takes centre stage as Mary, the artist’s muse.
These models share the stage but speak only to the artist; they are in his studio at different times, under different circumstances. The silent observation of the artist (and audience) encourages them to speak openly and these one-sided conversations reveal unexpected connections between the artist and all three characters.
Sitting is a quietly emotional play that allows the characters to slowly reveal themselves. Parkinson has found an interesting way to present these three very different characters and allow them to share a stage. It has been well cast with actors able to create believable characters and hold their own when delivering monologues.
Reviewed by Rhiannon Evans
Photo: Robbie Jack