The Deliverance

Aug 16 2015 | By More

✭✭✭✭✩   Fertile soil

Assembly Roxy (Venue 139): Thurs 6 – Mon 31 August 2015

Involving, dark, human poetry is in great supply in The Deliverance at Assembly Roxy. Stellar Quines’ presentation of the third part of the story that began with The List is a success in its own right, as well as a worthy successor to what has gone before.

The show is clearly billed as The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy Part III above the title, but could certainly be appreciated as a piece of drama without any knowledge of the other parts.

Maureen Beattie. Photo: Marc Marnie

Maureen Beattie. Photo: Marc Marnie

Which in itself is a criticism of sorts  – like The Carousel this can best be seen as a further exploration of the extraordinary experience that was The List, rather than a real continuation of it. Anyone looking for the ‘closure’ that might be expected from the last part of a trilogy will come away disappointed.

This is not to deny the power and richness of the piece. Maureen Beattie’s unnamed Quebecois woman is tasked with bringing her errant half-brother to her dying mother’s bedside. This leads her to an exploration of her childhood and her relationship with her brother and stepfather. Themes of family, inheritance and guilt are illuminated by a personal, female experience that speaks volumes for everyone.

Yet again, Beattie is a magnetic presence. This is a performance of depth and fire that, taken across the trilogy as a whole, is an achievement of truly epic proportions. Once again, she is excellently served by sympathetic direction from Muriel Romanes that refuses to draw undue attention to itself, and yet achieves great power through the building up of movement.

 beautifully idiosyncratic

Tremblay’s script, once again superbly translated by Shelley Tepperman, is spare, elegant and poetic.

The Deliverance A Stellar Quines production Written by Jennifer Tremblay Performed by Maureen Beattie Directed by Muriel Romanes  21st July 2015  Photograph by marc marnie  World Rights

Maureen Beattie. Set by John Byrne. Photo: Marc Marnie

John Byrne’s set is more expansive on this occasion, a beautifully idiosyncratic chapel altarpiece. Jeanine Byrne’s lights coruscate ominously, Philip Pinsky’s electronic sound is equally twinkling and eerie, and once again this is a thoroughly worked out whole whose cumulative effect is at once dreamlike and horribly real.

In the strictest, most reductive terms, this would come above The Carousel but below The List in a league table. Like the second part, it labours somewhat in the huge shadow of the first. On its own, it demands to be seen, while any opportunity to witness al three parts must not be missed. Together, they make up a towering achievement, not least for Beattie’s performances, which will surely be talked about for years to come.

Running time 1 hour
Assembly Roxy (Venue 139), 2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU
Wednesday 5 – Monday 31 August 2015
Daily (not 12, 18, 19, 26, 27) at 2.00 pm, except Mon 17 at 3.40 pm
Book tickets on the EdFringe website:
Stellar Quines website:

Hugh Simpson’s review of The List is here: The List

Hugh Simpson’s review of The Carousel is here: The Carousel


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.