Obsession, compulsion and disorder are all on display beyond the doors of One Elliot Park, which the residents return to one weekend to find mysteriously left wide open. And in Siege Perilous’ claustrophobic and tense production of Edinburgh playwright Lindsay Miller’s psychological thriller, it is more than just the doors which are ajar.
Young loner Chloe (Lilly Carrie) shares a tenement stair with neurotic housewife Debs (Danielle Farrow), workaholic introvert Douglas (Arron Usher) and drunken waster Mark (Tommie Hart). When they find they appear to have been victims of a break-in, LaVerne Hawthorne’s police inspector is called in to get to the bottom of things: and attempt to trace the whereabouts of Chloe, who has mysteriously vanished.
One Elliot Park grips throughout a tightly-paced production by Andy Corelli, who displays some fine directorial talents: foreshadowing the piece’s themes of madness and paranoia through the use of clever casting and stark, effective technical design.
Although the twists and turns of Miller’s plot are a little predictable, like a ride on a rollercoaster, the enjoyment to be had is from the journey itself. Carrie’s portrayal of paranoid naivety is spot-on, with Hawthorne’s hard-nosed police inspector providing a strong foil to Chloe and the other personalities’ deliberate ambiguity. Farrow’s turn as the highly-strung Debs is both amusing and believable; but it is Usher who puts in the standout performance, switching between mild-mannered mediocrity and menacing madness with ease.
As One Elliot Park reaches its climax, some doors are closed whilst others are blown open. Placed perfectly within the intimate venue space of Malmaison, its mapping of a disturbed mind provides 70 minutes of compelling theatre which seeks to question how much we actually know about the people we live amongst, and those who live within.
One Elliot Park runs at Malmaison, Leith until 19th June. Ticket information is available on Siege Perilous’ website.