Mustard by Eva O’Connor – Summerhall, Edinburgh

An Irish woman tells, in her own words, the story of her relationship with a cyclist with a large house in Crouch End. He is arrogant, and she comes second to the bikes. But she has her own issue, not least that she is obsessed with mustard. It clouds her mind and, in a memorable scene, covers her body from head to foot. Eva O’Connor’s monologue is energetic and direct, sexually revealing, but also traditional in form. The script is wordy and, at times, hard to believe. The boyfriend is a complete bastard with not redeeming features, which seems two-dimensional. And the central mustard theme is loose. It is not clear whether it is a metaphor for addiction and instability, or actual mustard. The latter just seem unlikely, particularly in the context of a show that focuses on the banality of life-changing events. A memorable performance, but a tonally uneven piece.

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