Three full length mirrors allow the bulk of the audience to see themselves watching Dust, directed by Sara Joyce, at the Underbelly Cowgate venue. A play that asks what happens when we see ourselves after death.
Alice is dead. She knows this because she can see herself lying in the morgue, she can see doctors poking and prodding at her cold corpse. This is the end. Or, is it actually a beginning? Because Dust gives us a glimpse into the purgatory which Alice must endure, alone.
Writer Milly Thomas also performs the entire play, she does it marvelously with unflinching rawness. It’s a relentless performance which is passionate and absorbing, you cannot help be moved by such an in depth portrayal of a character.
The writing is really graphic, perhaps too graphic in places. I’ve never considered myself squeamish or a prude by any stretch of the imagination but I did find myself unnecessarily disturbed by some of the lines. I say unnecessarily because the entire play is quite disturbing, but in the main you can see the purpose of it and that would have been enough to get the point across.
Dust presents us with a really interesting viewpoint of that great unknown; what happens when we die. Some of the practicalities are explained, we discover what happens when she tries to eat or use a mobile phone but it’s more about the emotional side of the situation, what happens when we have to watch our parents plan our own funeral, or friends and lovers moving on without us? How Alice copes with these situations opens up a whole character dissection that is very thoroughly explored.
In Dust, Milly Thomas gives us a powerful piece of drama combined with an equally powerful performance, which cannot fail to impress anyone who watches it, or watches themselves watching it.