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You Forgot the Mince review at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh – ‘entirely convincing’

Prince Plockey and Francesca Joy in You Forgot the Mince. Photo: Chris Gardner Prince Plockey and Francesca Joy in You Forgot the Mince. Photo: Chris Gardner
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Starkly examining an abusive, co-dependent relationship, You Forgot the Mince is a grim and affecting story lifted by moments of real warmth. Inspired by research, verbatim accounts and writer Francesca Joy’s own experiences, the play follows teenagers Rosa and Niko, who become trapped in a self-perpetuating cycle of love and hate.

Joy’s script sketches out the story in a flurry of short scenes. While this brevity can feel simplistic, truthful details and flashes of blank poetry make each sequence resonant. As Rosa, Joy shares a remarkable, effervescent chemistry with Prince Plockey’s sweet but unstable Niko, making their romance believable and their suffocating need for one another entirely convincing.

Director Stephen Whitson’s frenetic staging makes each rapid scene change part of the action. Stylised movement work blurs the lines between loving, playful and threatening gestures, elegantly reflecting the characters’ destructive spirals.

Ed Clarke’s score features deep heartbeat throbs and jarring electric squeals, creating an unsettling undercurrent which persists even through the happier sequences. The evocative set, by Rebecca Brower, presents the silhouette of a house built from rusted wire, a stand-in for the literal prison where Niko briefly finds himself, and the metaphorical prison his home later becomes.

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Passionate performances and slick staging elevate this story of domestic abuse