The Scotsman

Glimpse Part Two (The Scotsman)

Glimpse; Part Two (Edinburgh Production)

Little Girls Like to Kiss
Backstage Whispers

Glimpse is a collection of four solo shows presented by Philippa Hammond, two at a time on alternate evenings. In this case it’s a smoke-filled 1940s private dick yarn and a take on life at the shallow end of the theatrical talent pool. And very good they are too.

The first, Little Girls Like to Kiss, shows the gumshoe’s ubiquitous breathy secretary in her own right. Marcia Blouse is long-suffering, pouting and wisecracking. She is also fragile – lost without the defining influence of her absent boss? Not likely – more afraid that others are about to discover her guilty secret.

Cracks in the cool, sassy facade grow and meet, forming a portrait of paranoia. Hammond herself twists with the plot her character reports; first manipulative and catty, then desperate and cornered. Ultimately Marcia survives, and takes control again. Fittingly, this brings out Hammond’s best – understated and impressively controlled.

The second vignette, Backstage Whispers, has the same sense of command in script and acting. Hammond excels as the aspiring actor and skirts around the pitfalls of self-indulgence with admirable restraint. Even the “behind the curtain” jokes are sharp and entertaining.

Again the writing is taut, wry and understated. At best reminiscent of Alan Bennet’s Talking Heads, this is a touching tale of a call-box tart who lives and dies in 18 lines. Glimpse is impressive, and well-named; fleeting moments of subtle theatrical insight.

James Kirkup
The Scotsma