Doug Crossley has landed the role of Doug Crossley, ‘the part of a lifetime’ he calls it, in this complicated and funny self-referential play about suicide.
Twelve years ago Crossley and his best friend decided to take a show about his brother’s attempted suicide to the Edinburgh Fringe. A couple of years ago the friend took her own life.
Crossley has finally made it to the fringe, and what we get is a series of oblique approaches to the story. He’s written a play, but keeps stepping out of the narrative and commenting on it.
He performs a song about falling in love with a goat, and other flights of fancy, to distract him from getting to the point. It’s a bit of stand up, a bit of story, some music, and some strikingly beautiful images – like his friend represented in 72 pages of blank paper scattered on the floor.
The ‘spontaneous’ asides are less effective than the actual off-the-cuff interactions with the audience, and the songs are only intermittently strong.
But despite the lightness of tone and Crossley’s wonderfully warm presence, Crossley is not remotely flippant about his subject.
No methods mentioned, no glamorisation. Instead, a thoughtful, subtle exploration of how to present trauma and grief on stage; an audience giving a moment of time, and finding a little glimmer of beauty within.