Loneliness does strange things to people. When you’re far away from everything you’ve ever known, you find comfort and hope in the oddest of places, even a celebrity obsession. Finding Fassbender, directed by Blythe Stewart, charts how one woman’s self-imposed search for the guy that plays Magneto leads to her discovery of her place in the world. You can see it at Pleasance Courtyard every day at 11.45.
Eve has never been more than 20 miles outside of Wolverhampton, but now she’s leaving her friends, family, boyfriend and cat behind for London. It’s only temporary, and according to Eve, “everyone should live in the capital at some point.” She enjoys it at first, amazed by the delights that the big city has to offer, especially the toaster at her work that can toast six pieces of bread at once. But her dirty flat, dormant social life and the calling of a simpler life in the Midlands becomes too much. But before she decides to up sticks, she receives a letter addressed to the previous tenant: Michael Fassbender. Determined to be a good neighbour, Eve commits herself to a pursuit of the Hollywood actor, and maybe learn a few skills that will definitely make him want to be her friend when they meet.
Finding Fassbender is performed entirely by Lydia Larson, who also served as the writer. She navigates an impressive array of accents and voices, from the gruff Cockney accents of London town to the lilting Irish twang of Fassbender himself. Larson takes full advantage of the blank canvas and suspension of disbelief that the medium of a one-person show provides, frequently switching between mundane reality to the inside of her overactive imagination, often picturing Fassbender being enamoured with her interests that all seem to match up with his.
I have no idea how autobiographical the show is, but Larson’s warm, confessional tone, coupled with her shrewd observations of everyday life (big laughs are had from the idiosyncratic ways her boyfriend, her mum and her dad all text her) make it feel so authentic that you can’t help but be emotionally involved. Though the premise of being lonely in a big city and fanatically stalking a celebrity sounds like it should be as dark in tone as Taxi Driver or The King of Comedy, Finding Fassbender is a funny, empowering story of realising who you really are.