Eva O’Connor has created something beautiful as the playwright and performer in this one-woman show. At a time when I contemplated whether my love of female monologues was waning, Mustard explodes. Reinvigorating a love of storytelling through playwrights who evoke the ability to sit in awe and in love with a character created.
Eva O’Connor introduces us to E. Heartbroken, broken E. E met the man of her dreams. E left the man of her dreams, after he asked her to leave. And, of course, eleven months later when he phones to ask her back, she goes back.
Somehow, we work through the crux of mustard. Mustard which allows E’s hurt and anger to unfold and spill out. Whilst this is a simple story of love lost, what emerges is the reality and complexity of the emotions experienced in the simple stories.
From this seemingly simple boy meets girl, the reality of living beyond meeting the man of your dreams. The need to retain a sense of self whilst building a relationship with a person who lives in a different world. Eva O’Connor gently but passionately builds the instability and irrationality which brings this personable character to the point of breakdown.
In the storytelling of Mustard a rhythm is created which takes the audience through this rollercoaster of happiness and distress. The words are at times poetic, with humour, creating an empathy with E. Stumbling through nightclubs, free-wheeling down to a canal, chaotic shopping in supermarkets to satisfy the unquenchable desire for mustard.
O’Connor creates a music behind her words, holding a room which absorbs E’s relationship with mustard unblinkingly. There is a beauty in the language and rhythm of the words chosen. The themes unpicked are vast, creating so much imagery for the audience, making it impossible for the production to be forgotten.
Mustard is at Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You can see the production at 11.30 until Sunday 11th August.
Disclosure: This review is part of media accreditation for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe through the Network of Independent Critics. All views and opinions contained are my own.