Careful, Review, 2017

Submitted by Ken Wilson on Sat, 1 Apr '17 11.05am
Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Gilded Balloon
Lynn Ferguson (writer), Maggie Kinloch (director), Karen Koren (producer)
Running time

It's a truth generally acknowledged that the love that once dared not speak its name nowadays just won't shut up. Horse McDonald came to fame in the late-1980s and says she is the first out lesbian to be signed up to a major record label. In contrast to today's pop divas (think of Rhianna's tremulous warbling) Horse has a full-throated, big-lunged powerhouse of a voice not unlike that of her contemporary Alison Moyet. The title of this show comes from Horses's best-remembered song with its line 'careful with my heart'. But this is no concert or one-woman musical, more a memoir play.

Horse (the name comes from a childhood love of horses and is a word she thinks of as at once soft and strong) comes from Lanark in the heart of Scotland's rust belt. Her parents called her Sheena but she rejected the name knowing that she was different growing up. Her coming out story - tough, true and telling though it is - is far from unique. Many gay people of Horse's age will have shared her experiences of uncomprehending parents, trips to the psychiatrist and tormenting school bullies teachers and parents seemed powerless to stop. It's gut-wrenching to hear her talk of her early confusion and hiding from the world in her teenage bedroom writing about hurt and loneliness.

Horse's finding her true self in music (a place where she always felt safe) and her early pop career is told in a scipted play that's funny, painful and brave. How great, though, it would have been to have more music. The bifurcated nature of the show is problematic. The second half is a Q&A that will thrill fans but leave others crying out to hear more of that staggering voice.

Tour continues:

Saturday 1 April
MacRobert Arts Centre, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA
Performance start time - 19.30
Ticket Prices: £12.50/£10.50/£5.50

Sunday 02 April
Eden Court, Bishops Rd, Inverness, IV3 5SA
Performance start time – 19.30

Friday 7 April
Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre, Eastgate, Peebles EH45 8AD
Performance start time – 19.30

Saturday 8 April
Beacon Arts Centre, Custom House Quay, Greenock, PA15 1EQ
Performance start time – 19.30
Ticket Prices: £12/£10

Sunday 9 April
Motherwell Concert Hall, Windmillhill St, Motherwell ML1 1AB
Performance start time – 19.30

Thursday 20 April
Adam Smith Theatre, Bennochy Rd, Kirkcaldy KY1 1ET
Performance Time - 19.30

Friday 21 April
The Studio at the Festival Theatre, 22 Potterrow, Edinburgh EH8 9BL
Performance Time - 19.30

Thursday 27 April
Falkirk Town Hall, Westbridge Street, Falkirk FK1 5RS
Performance Time - 19.30
Ticket Prices - £14 / £12

Friday 28 April
Paisley Arts Centre, 15 New St, Paisley PA1 1EZ
Performance Time - 19.30

Saturday 29 April
The Lemon Tree, 5 W N St, Aberdeen AB24 5AT
Performance Time - 19.00

Saturday 6 May
Cove Burgh Hall, Shore Road, Cove G84 0LY
Performance Time - 20.00

Saturday 13 May
The Gaiety, Carrick St, Ayr KA7 1NU

Thursday 18 May
Lyth Arts Centre, Lyth, Wick, KW1 4UD
Performance Time - tbc

Friday 26 & Saturday 27 May - as part of Mayfesto
The Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HB
Performance Time – 19.45