On Track

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 16 Aug 2015
33330 large
102793 original

Kristien De Proost is on display. On a treadmill, in a museum, she runs on the spot for an hour, delivering a perfectly modulated monologue—in her second language, no less—while wearing a suit. Sometimes she holds a chainsaw above her head. Sometimes she’s in high heels. Her breath never once gives up.

It’s tempting to call this superhuman. In fact, it’s anything but. On Track is absolutely, 100% human: an attempt at an exhaustive self-portrait – warts, lopsided kneecaps, terrible farts and all.

De Proost is approaching her halfway mark: 42 years, nine months or so. She’s figured herself out, to a certain extent, but there’s still a long way to go.

It’s a beautiful text, a long list of idiosyncrasies – the things that make her her and her alone. Fifty-nine lovers, 236 monthly mortgages payments, 3.4 million Chinese people that share her birthday. De Proost lays out her loves and her pet hates, her happy places and her ideal death, all the names she’s ever been called. She lets us see the gaps in her knowledge; the ethical dilemmas for which she hasn’t an answer.

If it builds to something like a soap box, De Proost totally earns the right to her platform. She’s sweated enough, burned her 534 calories and the least we can do is listen. However, there’s little deviation or development and, despite a couple of set-pieces (a striptease on the run, for example), this pretty much stays on track throughout.