Don't Leave Me (3 stars)

Don't Leave Me

Depression and anxiety are tackled in this new drama

All of the characters in this new production are societal outsiders, struggling with demons across cities throughout contemporary Scotland. There's some sharp, zesty writing here, and a great ear for naturalistic language.

Director and actor Ryan Ford plays a drug addict who has recently lost his brother. Despite his unfortunate circumstances, he ironically brings much humour to the play as he weaves in and out the audience, asking for spare change and chatting up the ladies, with his best line: 'Do you like theme parks? Cause I'm a ride!'

Nicole McManus does most of the heavy lifting here. Her vlogger schoolgirl gets the longest monologue, as the character struggles with body image, learning difficulties in the classroom and hearing voices (her fragmentary inner monologues are projected onto a screen behind her).

Meanwhile, James Stewart's gamer self-harms when he's castigated by an alcoholic father for failing to live up to his preconceptions of masculinity.

But there is rather an overarching sense of bleakness here, in spite of a very good young cast. A suicide at the end isn't really foreshadowed by depressive behaviour, so that the resulting death is a little puzzling to watch. Nevertheless, the play is a good start, and Movaro Theatre Company are clearly a company with a great deal of potential.

Webster's Theatre, Glasgow. Run ended.

Don't Leave Me

A play connecting a young girl struggling with social media and grades to a drug addict struggling with the death of his younger brother.

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