Inis Nua is a wonderful Philadelphia-based theatre company that produces plays from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. They will also showcase work from American playwrights who deal with the Irish-American, Welsh-American, Scottish-American and Anglo-American experiences. It’s a unique concept that we’re lucky to have in our city. And like Inis Nua, their current production, Finding Fassbender, is also a gem!
In this one-act, one-woman show, we meet Eve as she leaves her small UK town to work in London. There, she realizes she’s even more lonely than she could have imagined. But, thanks to a mysterious letter for Michael Fassbender (!!!) that arrives to her apartment, Eve sets out to try new things (like hip hop class, German lessons, and heavy metal music) that could lead her to return the letter and meet Michael himself. Her misadventures are funny, bold and very relatable (for me anyway)- what, you haven’t fantasized about running into a celebrity crush just walking around your neighborhood?! And then finding out how much you have in common?!
Finding Fassbender premiered in 2018 as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Playwright Lydia Larson not only wrote the show, but also performed as Eve! In the Philadelphia performance, actress Amy Frear is phenomenal as Eve, taking on numerous roles with only mannerisms, tones, and movements to signify a new character. No props or costume changes! But it’s so easy to see her become someone new every few minutes.
I especially loved the UK terminology that could have been changed for American audiences to understand, but isn’t. It keeps the story authentic and personally reminded me how much I miss London and Scotland. A jacket potato is delicious (baked potato with toppings), I’ve bought box and boxes of tea at Sainsbury to bring home, and I’ve watched many episodes of the Graham Norton Show. There’s a little glossary in the program so you can also get Eve’s jokes and comments!
The show may be about finding Fassbender, but really it’s also about Eve finding out who she truly is, what she is worth, and how much is out in the world for her to discover and become. Finding Fassbender is so funny, charming and really hopeful. It’s easily one of my favorites of this Philly theatre season so far.
Finding Fassbender can be seen at the Louis Bluver Theater at the Drake (302 S. Hicks Street). Tickets are available here.