Marie sneaks up on you. Set in front of a bland, Free Fringe curtain with just a single chair, it proves there certainly is much more to this show than meets the eye. This one woman performance by Sarah MacGillvary has a whole host of characters packed in, including one who is more than the rest bargained for.

As Marie disembarks in London, fresh out of Edinburgh, the pandering starts right away. She wants to prove to everyone back home that she can make it, but she’s stunned to find King’s Cross at 2pm resembling the crowds of Grassmarket at midnight. This show’s entertainment value stretches far beyond its familiarity, however. The cute, if not somewhat overdone, story quickly finds a sense of humor when native meets entitlement. MacGillvary effortlessly adds Liz, keeper of a pub, to her repertoire. Proving her range, Liz warmly takes Marie on as a barkeep for room and board and soon finds Marie dominating their weekly historical figure night, coming onstage as Mary Queen of Scotland.

At first, Liz is as supportive as her over-enthusiastic husband, even buying Marie a dress from eBay to make the part better. But when Marie goes method, Liz finds her queenly demands a bit much for a girl she saved off the streets. Her husband has no problem preparing Queen Mary’s baths, but when Liz misses one of the young actress’ calls, she falls out of favor and the consequences are disastrous.

Heartwarming, boisterous and ultimately shocking, this lighthearted one-woman performance imbues The Hanover Tap with an incredible sense of place and delivers an exciting hour of twists and turns.

Words: Emily Hall 

Marie, Laughing Horse @The Hanover Tap, Aug 22-26, 12pm

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