The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy Stellar Quines Assembly Roxy

A veritable Tour de Force may be a little hackneyed term these days but it is the first phrase that comes to me when I think of Maureen Beattie’s performance in this trilogy of one woman plays by Canadian playwright Jennifer Tremblay. The three plays can be seen on separate days or one after the other as I did. It is a marathon for the spectator but imagine how physically and emotionally draining it must be for the actor.

Beattie plays The Woman in The List, The Carousel and The Deliverance – three plays which portray and explain her life and the lives of the other important women in her life: her best friend, her mother, her grandmother. The final part of the trilogy, The Deliverance, is new to Edinburgh and has already won a much deserved Scotsman Fringe First. (The List was staged in 2012 and The Carousel in 2014 and both also won Fringe Firsts).

In The List, the Woman, her husband and sons have moved from the City to the country and she is finding it hard to adjust to the harsh, unforgiving landscape. Her obsessive list making is an attempt to bring order to her life but distorts her ability to see what is really important in her life. The Carousel sees the Woman travelling across the country to visit her dying mother – a journey which evokes memories of her childhood and her grandmother and starts to reveal the family secrets to us. In The Deliverance, the Woman tries desperately to exorcise the family ghosts of the family and reconcile her brother with his mother before she dies.

This is another quality production from well-respected theatre company Stellar Quines. The set design by John Byrne is deceptively simple and works wonderfully well with the lighting design of his partner Jeanine Byrne. The abiding memory, though, will be that performance by Maureen Beattie – a veritable Tour de Force indeed.

Irene Brownlee