Winemakers know that you can’t make great wine if you start with inferior grapes. So it is with scripts.
Blind Tasting arose from conversations between wine admirers writer Paul Gilchrist and actor, and former wine seller, Sylvia Keays.
The monologue blends reflections on many aspects of a character’s life, but its lack of restraint in selecting elements robs the whole of definition and its many metaphors leave it as cluttered as the fanciful wine descriptions it seeks to lampoon.
Whilst Keays delivers technically, the piece lacks firm direction and has an almost unrelenting verbosity rivalling a Gilmour Girls episode. As a cellared wine needs an opportunity to breathe, audiences need breathing space to appreciate a scripts nuances. It was quite bizarre to have her tearily telling a tale only to jump into a sprightly description of a blind tasting and then back to her sorrowful recollections. This abrupt changes made me feel that the emotion was not genuine, that I was watching an actor rather than being involved with a story.
Yes, the audience do get to experience wine tasting. Before the first taste there is some guidance on wine appreciation, the second glass is to enjoy during the show. Flashy labels help sell wine, so I guess you can’t blame people for using packaging to stand out in a competitive marketplace.
If you subscribe to the philosophy that wine is for drinking, not thinking, then maybe this is a show you will enjoy. A connoisseur may prefer something else from the Fringe cabinet and leave this one to develop.