Review: Appropriate by Sarah-Jane Scott

A dark and engaging writing debut

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 19 Aug 2019
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Hard to believe this is Sarah-Jane Scott's writing debut. Engaging, witty and with shades of delicious darkness, this is a seriously successful monologue on the social pressures faced by women getting on and building a future in rural Ireland.

Very clearly, it's about building that secure future and not necessarily finding love. We meet Sorcha, who's just had to take five on her wedding day, clearly unsure if she loves the man she's just tied the knot with. He's Marty, "a decorated senior-A hurler, destined for county", a position which affords him extraordinary privilege in the closed society to which she must adapt. And adapt she does, as she pouts and hair flicks her way through her courtship of him, her painfully clichéd hen do, and her cookie-cutter wedding day, all the while doubts creep up.

There's some very Irish references that pass me by ("the debs"?), though it's impossible to cater to everyone's idiocies and, on balance none of this hides the very clear narration. Scott plays Sorcha with energy and without missing a beat – there's a particularly well pitched argument between her and her fiancé in which she plays both sides without any contrivance. There's some slightly too-easy laughs at the smallness of rural Ireland but, more than that, it's the ending that doesn't quite click. She's too well characterised as the shallow bride. The breezy mask never slips and, consequently, her dark choice at the end—the emotional toil of confirming—doesn't feel as devastating as it might.