The Portable Dorothy Parker

Margot Avery

Fringe Festival

Holden Street Theatres

12th March


Dorothy Parker was poet, critic, writer and so much more. She is remembered today, however, for her acid one liners and quick wit as much as her literary achievements.

In this performance Margot Avery seeks to bring Parker’s life to a new generation. In a clever script, Parker is discussing poems to be included in a new book and in doing so discusses her life, loves, famous friends and literary achievements to a literary agent, present only in concept. This works well as Parker can’t help but get side-tracked, the poems bringing memories back that she feels compelled to verbalise. We learnt about many aspects of her life including the famous Algonquin Round Table.

Interspersed in the dialogue were many of Parkers witticisms.

However, as good as Avery was, there were some issues. Parker’s very funny one-liners were almost hidden in the script with no attempt to high-light them, so as a result they were lost, their impact gone. Some were edited, reducing them to just words in the dialogue.

One person shows are a real feat of endurance, concentration, skill and, of course, memory. Avery clearly has all of these in her possession. But the performance could have been enhanced with greater variation in the delivery, at times this was a bit monotone.

This performance brought back to life a popular and indeed important American literary figure

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