A realtor visits a house with clients (we, the audience, take their place) and realises she has been there before.
So, she tells them the story of twenty years before – The Tarantula. Written and performed by Patricia Légaré Eddisford, this is just under an hour of monologue, a story which transcends its one-room location.
The Tarantula spends some time firmly in horror story mode, but it also moves into a more psychological space. This isn’t the story you think it is, and it displays an intense power at key moments. It is about touch, about voice, about noise.
If this was a real situation, I am sure the clients who came to view the house would have backed out slowly before the halfway point of this play, thinking “I do not want to live here”. But they are just a ploy to allow the realtor to reveal her secret; they don’t necessarily matter.
This play, sensitively directed by Alicia Tafoya, takes a fresh and intense approacb to trauma but may benefit from an opening out of the action to another room, or a wider choice of camera angles than a constant set of medium and extreme close-ups.
I would be very interested to see how The Tarantula evolves into a play performed on the live stage and whether inevitable changes will affect how it comes across to an audience.
One moment and shot does stand out: you will recognise it when you see it. The script, too, has words which will make you catch your breath. The Tarantula is economical, emotional, and fearless. This is a difficult piece aimed at adults only, but one worth the effort.
Fringe rating: ****
You can stream The Tarantula on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s Assembly Showcaster platform until the end of August. Book your ticket here.
If you watch the show, there are also scheduled Zoom discussions available with the creators: contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details and the link.