A well-scripted moving new play from Kevin Jones, Izzy’s Manifestos is about friendship, loss and love as experienced through the dysfunctional but aspirational mind of a girl who we’re introduced to at varying stages of her life. Performed by Claira Watson Parr, who has the ability to pull heartstrings as well as deliver a fairly strong dialogue, Izzy advances through her life unaware of the emotions, anger and pathos that have been building up over the years since the passing of her dad.
We are initially introduced to Izzy as an upbeat, positive teenager with a drive and desire to engage with life. Her initial manifesto goes, “I want to be everything,” and appears throughout this show, accompanied by themed lists that document her goals and aspirations. However, the death of her father predictably changes this tone, and there is an underlying sadness, which does at moments cross into anger and frustration. Her response to her friend’s retort about her dad is a pivotal moment in the play.
Izzy attends art school in order to do something productive with her life and attempts to live a somewhat conventional student life, but her approach does not lie well within those conventions. Kevin Jones’s heartfelt script realistically considers the questions of bereavement, identity and growing up that are pertinent to the play. The result is something of an observational drama in the way that it hones in on frustration and activities of day to day life. Her manifestos extend a key message in the hour, as they suggest the importance of goals, aims, trying – all which makes life more appealing. Without these aspirations to attain, Izzy would no doubt ruminate in grief and loneliness, a crucial message to any struggling with similar issues. Izzy’s Manifestos is a wonderfully-handled, well-scripted take on a difficult topic with a decent performance to boot.
Big Bite-Size Lunch Hour: Izzy’s Manifestos runs until 28th August at Gilded Balloon Teviot, 12:15.