JOYCE MCMILLAN on TORN at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, for The Scotsman 15.6.15.

4 stars ****

LOVINGLY CRAFTED over  two years by performer-creator Fancisca Morton and her team from Faux Theatre, Torn is now on tour around Scotland; and it emerges as a gorgeous, thoughtful 45 minutes of wordless theatre, full of emotional courage and pure invention.

Morton says that her show is inspired by a simple love of paper, as well as a fascination for “moments held in time”; and the combination produces a sad and by no mean simple tale of love gone wrong, as the story’s sole character moves around a lonely room full of torn, piled and crumpled paper, trying to make sense of the memories that haunt her, represented by a pair of male blue jeans that keep resurfacing, despite her efforts to keep them at bay.  Morton is a compelling performer;  and director and design consultant Shona Reppe and lighting designer Laura Hawkins work together to conjure up a memorably wrecked domestic environment, full of transient comforts and huge emotional hazards.

Also crucial to Torn’s impact, though, is the wonderful range of subtle sound produced live during the show by Foley artist Barney Strachan, and intertwined with recordings of great torch-song classics La Vie En Rose and The Man I’ll Love.  It’s in these small whispers and crunches of sound echoing through a lonely flat that the show’s reflection on loneliness achieves its greatest poignancy; and although the journey is brief, it leaves a vivid impression of a heart crumpled and shredded, like the waste paper that crowds and dominates the stage.

Torn at Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy, 17 June; and Dundee Rep, 24 June.



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