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How to Disappear--Traverse, Edinburgh

How to Disappear--Traverse, Edinburgh

When Helen Daniels from Neighbours died, Robert shut his door on the world. And he’s not opened it since. Now his only connection to the outside world is through his younger sister Isla, who looks after them both whilst their father is away in Ibiza on ‘business’. Read more …

With only a strange menagerie of creatures (including an iguana called Scott and a corn snake called Charlene) to keep them company, each day looks pretty much the same as the last – until their quiet lives are interrupted by a visit from Jessica, a benefit assessor, determined to prove that Robert is fit for work.

But Jessica soon realises that one size certainly does not fit all, as she suddenly stumbles across a secret about Robert that catapults her head first into a universe of infinite possibilities.

Merging biting social commentary and fantasy in unexpected ways, How to Disappear is a pitch-black comedy which gives a voice to those who often go unheard.

The critical consensus

A good production of an undercooked, over-peppered script.

***(*)(*)Michael Cox, Across the Arts

By this time it has become apparent that, for all the very fine acting and staging, this is another ninety-minute straight-through piece of theatre that has a very good hour-long play hidden inside it.

***(*)(*)Thom Dibdin, All Edinburgh Theatre, 09/12/2017

Warm, witty, darkly revolutionary, Pearson’s compassionate anti-panto is very much a tale for our times.

****(*)Gareth Davies, The Reviews Hub, 09/12/2017

There’s a lot to process in this latest play from Morna Pearson. Some subtleties in the text are missed to the play’s detriment but once the confusion clears, a message of real relevance for our time shines through.

****(*)Irene Brown, Edinburgh Guide, 09/12/2017

How to Disappear is the perfect alternative to the festive season.

****(*)Rachael Hickman, The Wee Review, 10/12/2017

Gareth Nicholls’s direction is flawless, Owen Whitelaw’s handling of Robert’s beautiful Doric monologues an absolute masterclass in acting, as raw and truthful as it is understated.

****(*)Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, 11/12/2017

Pearson's already wild, pop culture saturated imagination has here been galvanised with a furious sense of everyday righteousness and compassion for those systematically squeezed out of the system.

*****Neil Cooper, Coffee-Table Notes, 11/12/2017

Pearson pushes beyond the bitter social satire to make a broader observation about lost souls in troubled times.

****(*)Mark Fisher, The Guardian, 12/12/2017

How to Disappear appears to be an engaging, and finely tuned examination of mental illness and how people can all-too-easily “disappear” from society. Yet that’s not enough for Morna Pearson; she has a twist up her sleeve.

****(*)Paul F Cockburn, Broadway Baby, 13/12/2017

Neither the playwright nor the production’s director, Gareth Nicholls, succeed in reconciling the inconsistent tone.

**(*)(*)(*)Allan Radcliffe, 14/12/2017

A sharply-observed and blackly amusing social realist play.

David Pollock, Exeunt, 23/12/2017

Features about How to Disappear--Traverse, Edinburgh

How To Disappear: darkly comic drama addressing alienation and sadness

Lorna Irvine, The List, 21/11/2017

Where and when?

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh from Friday December 8, 2017, until Saturday December 23, 2017. More info:

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