Edinburgh Festival Review: Candy

Tim Fraser’s play Candy, filmed in the Blue Elephant Theatre, London, is like a perfect song you want to play over and over, just to hold onto the feeling for a few moments longer. This monologue is wonderfully observed, with lines that are subtly heart-squeezing.

Will (Michael Waller) is an awkward but sweet young man. He enjoys the odd pint or two, but also a bit of culture. When he and a group of friends head off to a club one night, he finds himself utterly beguiled by the enigmatic drag queen Candy, who he can’t help regarding as a perfect female specimen with her long red dress, torch song and piercing blue eyes- until, that is, he realises it’s his best mate Billy up there. When Candy starts appearing in his dreams, though, he starts to wonder- why is he fixating on a character on a stage? Is there something else going on here?

Delicately directed by Nico Pimpare, this film asks bigger questions about masculinity, performance and the deepening bonds of friendship with such grace and care that it is utterly disarming. A breathy ‘hello’ into a microphone is just enough for Waller to transform into the epitome of glamour that is Candy, just enough to invoke a hundred Marilyn Monroe-esque lip synchs.

Never does it feel cloying, contrived, or simplistic, but rather a warm, touching and gorgeous production with just enough barbs to sting a little . You long for Will to figure it out, like you would wish the best for a lovestruck pal.

Available through Zoo TV until August 28th.



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