3 stars ***
Gilded Balloon (Venue 14)
THERE’S BEEN quite a bit of obsessive compulsive disorder around on this year’s Fringe; but no sufferer of the complaint commands more sympathy than the twentysomething character conjured up in Ruaraidh Murray’s new solo show, which builds on his success with previous Fringe works like Bath Time and Big Sean, Mikey & Me. This year – in a marked shift from the sub-Trainspotting plot of Bath Time – Murray’s protagonist is a troubled young man who, following a bad relationship breakup, sleeps in a cardboard box in the living-room, and can hardly come out of his flat without heading back several times to check that the cooker is off and the windows locked.
His life begins to change though, when he makes it as far as the local supermarket, and falls in love with one of the check-out girls; and the story evolves into a thoroughly witty and well-told modern romantic comedy, cheerfully peopled by all the weirdoes, sad cases, stalkers and eccentrics who wander the aisles of giant 24-hour supermarkets at night. It seems strange, though, that a young Edinburgh writer of Murray’s obvious talent is still stuck in the same modest-Fringe-monologue groove he entered two years ago; time for someone to invest in his fast-developing gift for dialogue, and to challenge him to write the bigger play that is clearly in there somewhere, just waiting to emerge.