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Inside (Salford)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Rosie MacPherson
© Strawberry Curls Theatre Company
Many of us are familiar with the true life stories of kidnap victims that we have read about or seen in our media; hostages that have been taken and held for a number of years and confined under the total control of their abuser.

The true and horrific nature of this type of crime is very current and it seems as though such stories have frequented international news in recent times. Inside is a timely new psychological drama written and performed by Rosie MacPherson, which takes its inspiration from the true stories of kidnap victims Natascha Kampusch, Elisabeth Fritzl and Jaycee Lee Dugard.

Inside is one hour long and the drama is played out singlehandedly by MacPherson in real time. We realise during the course of this tense and uncomfortable hour, that the heroine was abducted when she was twelve on her journey home from school, and that she has been trapped and held as a prisoner ever since.

As audience members, we are privy to her most intense and meaningful hour in her captive environment - as she discovers that the door to her freedom, her family and her identity is open; and we ask ourselves -will she be able to escape?

This gripping play explores the effects of Stockholm syndrome on a nameless kidnap victim who is struggling to keep hope. Writer and actor Rosie MacPherson delivers a believable performance - reinacting stories from her school days, she fleshes them out with a darker subtextual tone. Her use of humour succeeds in making the audience feel awkward and uncomfortable. We can feel the despair and the hope that drives her especially when we are introduced to her only two friends- a plant held together by cello-tape named Bryony and a mouse called Mel B.

Strawberry Blonde Curls Theatre Company pride themselves on being fearless and spirited, delivering measured storylines and interesting characters. Inside manages to give the audience a realistic insight into the feelings and experience of a kidnap victim.

The protagonist never once talks directly to the audience - instead we become immersed and drawn into her ever shrinking world - Rosie MacPherson gives a compelling performance and she is definitely a future talent to watch out for!

- Kristy Stott