Screw Your Courage

Screw Your Courage (or The Bloody Crown!)



Greenside@infirmary, Edinburgh

Ever since she was a little girl, Brooklyn-based actress Klahr Thorsen has been obsessed with the role of Lady Macbeth. In this cleverly constructed monologue, she shares key scenes in her life from childhood to the present day, highlighting her various attempts along the way, to achieve her heartfelt ambition of playing Lady M. She also impersonates a selection of colourful characters – her father, who first gives her the idea of being an actress, her troubled mother, obsessed with solving some mathematical problem, and the macho actor from college who was her first leading man. The whole piece is linked by a clever rewrite of Macbeth’s witchy opening, where Shakespeare’s poetry is modified to suggest that the character is actually commenting on Thorsen’s progress.

It’s confidently acted (particularly the speeches lifted directly from the Scottish play) and it’s also apparent that Thorsen really has explored every aspect of her chosen character. The story loses a little impetus when she encounters a mysterious (and oddly accented) Scotsman on a train, but soon regains its momentum, to take us on to a satisfying conclusion.

This is nicely done and offers an unusual twist on the plethora of Shakespearian pieces currently showing on the Fringe.

4 stars

Philip Caveney