At a Stretch review at Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh – ‘well crafted’

Emma Anderson in At a Stretch. Photo: Jassy Earl Emma Anderson in At a Stretch. Photo: Jassy Earl

Jordan & Skinner, who made a huge impact with their one-woman show Sanitise, return with a two-handed, non-verbal piece, At a Stretch. It’s an everyday story of two women who bump into each other and fall in love, aimed at a younger audience.

Melanie Jordan brings all her clowning skills as the mundane routines of the two are laid down. She fleshes out a lazy, friendly temp who never has the same job two days in a row. Emma Anderson is all uptight control, prissy in her attitude and athletic in her down-time.

The acrobatic use of the empty stage, designed by Alice Wilson, set round with poles on and around which the two can balance and twirl – and inlayed with lights – is great. Their existences are parallel but never touching until they literally bump into each other.

The ensuing coup de foudre and start of the relationship is well crafted by director Caitlin Skinner. But as the show enters an extended dance sequence, choreographed by Lucy Wild with coloured elastic tying the two together, all character development stops. It is pretty to look at but, having created the characters so meticulously, it just seems odd that they have no further impact in the development and maturing of the relationship.

Non-verbal tale of romance promises much but doesn't develop as it might