Friday, 9 October 2009

Biography of My Skin

There is something entirely irresistible about delving into other people's lives. We all do it, through movies, tv and books - even newspapers offer us a brief escape from our own lives and a glimpse into someone else's. Biography of My Skin gives us the opportunity to do exactly that. This new show by Stuart McKenzie, and starring Miranda Harcourt, premiered at Downstage last night and I was fortunate enough to win tickets to the preview.

Biography of My Skin is the story of Miranda Harcourt, as told by her husband, Stuart McKenzie. It's hard to comprehend at times that every word uttered was written by McKenzie, although we are reminded on several occasions in the dialogue. He has even scripted some pretty heated arguments between them!

A mixture of live theatre and video segments, also featuring various cameo appearances from various people in Harcourt's life, Biography of My Skin is carefully articulated and well-timed. Non-chronological events from her life are explored to varying depths, and there is something for everyone to identify with. A few are touched on very briefly, others are expanded further, many with humour, and all with raw honesty. I almost expected to see Forrest Gump sitting at a bus stop telling us, "that's all I have to say about that" after the scene where Miranda faces her attacker in prison.

The show opens tonight and runs until the end of October. It's well worth going to see if you are interested in character-driven performances, especially those that allow you a little more insight into your own life.

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