Collapsible is a funny, raw one-woman play that is the internal monologue of a young Irish woman. We meet Essie, who has lost her job, her girlfriend’s left her and she feels more like a chair than a person – solid one minute and collapsible the next.
Margaret Perry has written this slick, witty and timely monologue that captures the highs and lows of navigating life. Breffni Holahan delivers the monologue with grit and sincerity. Her sharp comedy timing brings light relief to a show that is ultimately about mental health. You find yourself instantly warming to Holahan and with her warm approach.
Trying to define herself through Buzzfeed quizzes, it’s a classic 21st century story that most young women will relate to. Looking for a career and struggling with her identity, she goes to her friends and family to ask them what adjectives they’d use to describe her to help with her job interviews. Holahan brilliantly embodies the people in her life when she tells her story – creating a well-rounded narrative.
Alison Neighbour’s set design is striking and brings a new dimension to a classic one-woman show. Holahan is perched high on a stone plinth, surrounded by crumbling stone. Although it’s an innovative design, it does limit any movement and although Holahan captures your attention for most of the show, it could be a more dynamic performance. Every time Holahan speaks, dust falls in the air as we see her world literally collapsing around her.
Margaret Perry’s writing is superb and her use of language tells an eye-opening story of depression and searching for light in a dark time. Holahan gives an authentic and natural performance as we see her loneliness and vulnerability grow. Slowly losing her sense of self, she opens up to the audience in a delicately intimate way.
Collapsible is on at Edinburgh Fringe at Assembly Roxy 13:20.