theSpace at Niddry Street (Lower Theatre), Edinburgh
I’m drawn to this show by the vibrant poster; I quite like Ms Perkins, and the tale of a quirky superfan (apparently based on a true story) is appealing to me. In reality, Eleanor Higgins’ In PurSUEt isn’t so much about the titular Sue, as it is about the protagonist’s struggle with alcoholism.
It’s not really In PurSUEt’s fault that I’ve seen a few too many introspective shows at this year’s fringe – there are, for some reason, lots of micro-dramas about personal issues. As I tend to prefer more outward-looking work (I like intimacy in drama, but find it more interesting if there’s something more universal in the mix), I guess I’m just not this production’s target audience.
I have a few issues with the story too: I get very little sense of the character’s life outside of booze-and-Sue (she must have one; how else is she funding her impulsive trips in pursuit of her heroine?). And why doesn’t Sue recognise her after so many odd encounters? I’m not even sure what it is about Perkins that attracts Higgins in the first place, because she never says what it is she finds so appealing about the Bake-Off star.
Still, there’s no denying that Higgins is an engaging performer, and there are some funny sequences here and quite a few cutting one-liners. She also, as it turns out, has a lovely singing voice. And, in the end, her redemption feels earned.