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Festival Review: The Soaking of Vera Shrimp ****

Rachael Keiller reviews 'a little gem'.

As the audience enter the space they are met with Vera’s science project. She is here to tell us about her theories on rain and her special talent: reading raindrops. Vera believes that every raindrop holds a human emotion and with her convincing theories, kind of leaves you believing it too.

As her presentation unfolds Vera lets the audience in on what she is going through: the loss of her mother, the unsympathetic friends and neighbours that surround her and her distant father who won’t speak to her anymore.

Tessa Parr’s performance is captivating, bright and truthful, really capturing 14 year-old Vera. The writing is fresh and gives a true essence into being a teenage girl today. My favourite part is the use of cue cards to conduct a conversation between Vera and the audience, with the audience playing her dad; a useful device to create an emotional connection between the actor and the audience.

Vera Shrimp is a great example of powerful storytelling, where one actor can capture the audience’s imagination and touch their hearts. A funny, charming and altogether touching piece about grief, emotions and the beauty of youth, this is a little gem.

Performance at the Pleasance Courtyard has concluded.

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