ED2013 5/5 Reviews ED2013 Theatre Reviews

Stuart – A Life Backwards (HighTide / Sheffield Theatres / Watford Palace Theatre / Underbelly / Escalator East Edinburgh)

By | Published on Saturday 17 August 2013

How can you explain a life in three words? You can’t, of course, especially when the life is that of the fascinatingly paradoxical Stuart Shorter. This play is an adaptation of Alexander Masters’ biography of his friend, the titular Stuart. Shorter was many things: homeless, a criminal, an activist, a sufferer of multiple sclerosis, a victim of child abuse, unstable, endearing, chaotic… What this gripping, insightful play makes clear is that he was all of these things, but he was much more than that. The entire cast were outstanding, playing many parts – at one point, even forming the scenery – but it’s Stuart, magnificently brought to life by Fraser Ayres, who will stay with you long after the play is over.

Underbelly Bristo Square, until 26 Aug (not 12), 3.30pm.
tw rating 5/5 [Andrew Leask]