As the audience files into the Mainhall at Summerhall (venue #26 of the Edinburgh Fringe), we are greeted with a smile, biscuits and coffee or teas by our gracious hostess and starlet of the show, Jess Love – “dangerous girl”. Framed as an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, Love sets the stage for her solo performance with “Hello, I’m Jess and I’m an alcoholic”. And we are off, let the addiction adventure begin. From discovery to recovery, Love viscerally and unapologetically bares all as she keenly unfolds her story of family, career, and her ancestral discovery of Julia Mullins – “notorious strumpet”- that served as the catalyst toward her rehabilitation from addiction.
There was never a dull moment as Love seamlessly slips between narrator and actor. In this carefully crafted and courageous, non-stop autobiographical performance, the audience rode an emotional roller coaster of horror and delight. She skillfully employed a wide array of props, music, recordings, costumes layered into with a variety purposeful and virtuosic circus skills and theatrical chops. Is it circus? Is it theatre? Is it performance art? It is all of the above. It is a performance that does not deserve or need a box. It’s circus, theatre and performance art melded into a single show. This performance offered a shining example of the capacity of interdisciplinarity can offer a cohesive and meaningful performance. ...
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