AT THE THEATRE
Edinburgh Fringe 2018: Lost in Thought @ Underbelly
This dramatic two-hander play features Kerry Fitzgerald as a young woman named Felicity and Liza Keast as her mother, Marie. They are both out on first dates: Felicity at an expensive restaurant and Marie at an equally swanky wine bar. To her amazement, Felicity’s date turns out to be as stunning as his online profile picture suggests. After the first course she heads, with butterflies in her stomach, to the lady’s room in order to touch up her makeup. However, as she goes into one of the cubicles to nick some toilet paper and wipe away a spot of smeared lipstick, she has a sudden anxiety attack related to concerns about her mother’s safety. The rest of the play flashes back through moments in her past, closely examining this highly intelligent girl’s development of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), her close but highly problematic relationship with her mother and their various attempts to handle the condition.
OCD is a disorder which is often treated more lightly than it should be. It is stereotypically associated with endless repetitive actions such as hand-washing or turning light switches on and off. Not that bad, you might think… until you scratch beneath the surface of those afflicted and see the true state of life-wrecking panic which they experience on a frequent basis. Lost in Thought very effectively does just that thanks, in no small part, to Kerry Fitzgerald’s intense, monologue-heavy performance. While she looks believably jittery and fraught throughout, her act never feels overdone and it’s easy to empathise with her predicament. Keast is almost as impressive and sympathetic as a mother who clearly loving and dedicated but, at the same time, is increasingly obviously suffering her own strains from her daughter’s seemingly irrational behaviour.
The script was written by Lucy Danser, who was herself diagnosed with OCD at the age of 16. While I’ve never been familiar with the condition myself, the details of the symptoms and the way in which Felicity desperately attempts to cope with them are truly eye-opening and feel real; almost over-extensions of normal concerns which every one of us has brushes with on a day-to-day basis. There are a few touches of humour here and there which make the play feel a little less bleak than it might have otherwise been - but don’t nullify its overall impact. The result is a fascinating look at a much-misunderstood affliction which doesn’t forget to tell an entertaining story.
Tickets are available from the following link: