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Mary & William

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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A biographical one-woman show, Mary and William - Mary being the writer and performer Mary MacDonald Hamill, William being one Mr Shakespeare - is a sophisticated and poetic solo performance combining an actor's life story with excerpts from a number of the Bard's works.

The story of a turbulent life, from childhood through Hamill's stage career, the piece is set against the backdrop of a strict Catholic upbringing and latent memory of child abuse. Having found solace in the work of William Shakespeare, particularly A Midsummer Night's Dream as a child, Hamill gives a passionate and lyrical performance.

Whilst the Shakespearian extracts give the show poignancy, the journey which links them together is perhaps not quite compelling enough to make the piece profound.

Although I realise I was there to critique the show and not the venue in which it appeared, and that these things are sometimes just the nature of the Edinburgh Fringe, I feel I would have enjoyed the first half of the show far better if I had not been quite so distracted by the fact that our one-woman show was having to compete directly with a musical company performing through the wall.


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