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Theatre Review: Ailsa Benson is Missing ***

Michael Cox reviews a production with a good performance and engaging plot.

‘It’s fun to have a secret.’ So we are told by a character in Ailsa Benson is Missing, a one-person show that chronicles the aftermath of teenager Benson’s disappearance.

Told from the point of view of Nina, a classmate who until recently was a pal of Ailsa’s, we see the effect the disappearance has on a small community. Nina begins to learn the world is darker than she thought and begins to wonder if she might know more about the case than she thought.

Samara MacLaren serves as both writer and performer here. The script is hit-and-miss with some nice twists and insights but mostly rings underdeveloped. As a performer, she’s engaging and tells the story well.

Director Marilyn Imrie’s production is fine. The pace is even but the constant use of voice over is too much, particularly as many of the recordings sound flat and unconvincing.

Ailsa Benson is Missing works, held together by a good performance and a plot engaging enough to want to see through.

Ailsa Benson is Missing is at the Assembly Rooms at 2.20pm until August 25th.

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