Exile- Ed Fringe

On Monday morning I went to see Exile at the Space Triplex (At 9.30am I might add). Exile is a feminist piece of theatre, that depicts six women thought history and fiction exiled to a non-descript island.

It was a really interesting piece of Theatre, where time was non-existant, but yet omnipresent throughout the whole piece. Creating a bubble of time, which almost felt suffocating. The use of physical Theatre was very effective in exploring the gentle and loving relationships between the women, whilst at the same time exposing the brutality of the world outside of the exile. This was all aided by the acting which was just fantastic. The cast embodied the array of characters which all complimented each other, and worked very well as a company.

Overall definitely worth getting up for at 930am!

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Commons- Ed Fringe

Yesterday afternoon, I saw Commons, from the St Andrews Theatre company, directed by Louis Catliff, written by Elliot Douglas.

Commons explores the relationship between an MP and his rent boy, the power dynamic between them, and the story of their unconventional love (?).

I really enjoyed the script and the characters. They were well thought out and very defined, ( If not a tad obvious in some places). This was aided by the distinct acting from the two leads. The two leads had an interesting chemistry between them, on occasion very awkward, and at other times like a newly wed couple- All fitting to the script.
The order of the scenes was very insightful, by going backwards it gave all of character background, without slowing down, or becoming clunky. The use of the chorus provided a much needed comedic relief, and a break from a script that could become very stuffy.

Overall a solid Fringe show with an interesting story.

Trainspotting live – In Yer Face Theatre Company

I had the absolute pleasure to see Trainspotting tonight at the Pleasance EICC. I had tried to see this production last year but it completely sold out. I must say I felt like a very bad Scot, having not seen any form of trainspotting before, but I can definitely say I was blown away by the performance this evening.

Trainspotting is a completely immersive theatre event. I wouldn’t call it a show at all, It really is an experience. When I spoke to Greg Esplin, Tommy, He described it like a hit of drugs. It starts off with an amazing high, lots of laughs and fun, and then very suddenly and rapidly you fall into withdrawal and all becomes very painful.

One thing that I find often with Immersive Theatre, is that the actors can often fall short as the audience are so distracted by everything else. However, in this production, the acting is phenomenal. There were comedic moments, heart-wrenching moments, and moments where I wanted to look away.  Esplin, was fantastic, loveable yet tragic. Paired with Gavin Ross, Mark, they both just brought the show to life- with the rest of the fantastic cast. And of course their 8th cast member – The audience.

I would highly recommend- It really is a must see for the fringe. But book soon, because it will sell out!

 

Trainspotting is running at The Tunnel at EICC Pleasance until the 28th at 18:00, 19:45, and at 21:30 on Fridays and Saturdays

Blink Barons Court Theatre

Last night I was invited to go see Blink at The Barons Court Theatre directed by Peter Kavanagh, starring Minnie Murphy and Joe McArdle, written by Phil Porter. Blink explores the ideas of love, relationships, between two very damaged people, Sophie and Jonah, played by Minnie Murphy and Joe McArdle respectively.

I spent a long time trying to work out how best to describe the humour, it wasn’t quite absurdist, but it wasn’t run of the mill comedy. I finally settled on quirky. You laughed where you wouldn’t quite expect it. This is largely part to the capturing performances from McArdle and Murphy. The chemistry between the two actors is apparent from the first duologue, despite the fact that they rarely interact in the first half. This all enhanced by the beautiful intimate space of the basement thrust theatre, that created a personal connection between the audience and actors. The different character skits are welcome break from an otherwise fairly slow and serious play. And in these times, McArdle uses his face more than his words, to get the comedy across. McArdle, embodied a childlike innocence, in his gentle portrayal of Jonah that had a melancholic undertone. Murphy almost paralleled this, in her melancholic, serious portrayal that had innocence strung through it.  I must say that I was surprised, that the play didn’t become stilted or clunky in its flow. Many two actor pieces can become forced, and I was worried about that. However, it was paced very well, and flowed, despite a short interval in the middle.

The attention to detail was evident in the sound and set. Simplistic, yet effective. The music however, I found to be slightly overwhelming, if not unnecessary, in the first half. It’s understandable given Kavanagh background, however I think it is too much in the theatre, especially this small space. It did, although work in the second half, and felt almost triumphant.

The idea of love, however unconventional, is prominent throughout the piece. A quirky and wholesome performance. It had me laughing, wistful, and sometimes heartbroken.

Blink is running at the Barons Court Theatre until the 20th of May.

Chatroom- SLAM Theatre

Last night I had the pleasure to see Chatroom by Enda Walsh, by SLAM Theatre, I went along, as a friend of mine was the rehearsal stage manager, so I’ll try to not be biased.

Chatroom is about a chatroom funnily enough. It’s an exploration of the problems a lot of teenagers face, and their different reactions to it, through the use of social media. This production by SLAM Theatre, produced by Andy Patterson and Anthony Papamichael, and directed by Hector Moyes, was produced in the charming etcetera theatre. The set was simplistic, which allowed the audience to focus on the acting. The use of the movement was a nice break from the intense story.

IMG_5686Pictured here, Anthony Papamichael, Emily Pearce (Rehearsal Stage Manager), Hector Moyes and Mark Teale, from left to right. 

The whole cast were brilliant, the acting was subtle, but intense, which was very effective in this small theatre space. I’d love to go into detail on all of the cast’s different characters, like how I hated Mark Teale’s, William, from the minute he came on stage (which may have to do with how insulted one of my childhood memories); and how Eddie Chamberlin’s Jack, was endearing, but well-meaning. Nick Pearce’s Jim, was nervous, and easily influenced, but also really likeable. Charlotte East’s Eva, had a lot more to her character, than what her lines revealed, very similar to Tania Van Amse’s Laura, who’s last speech, definitely had a lot of the audience in tears. Susie Barton’s Emily, had an air of innocence, and sweetness. I really liked her chemistry with Pearce.

The whole show dealt with very serious issues, and it would be great to do at schools, and after talking to the cast they told me that they have done a workshop with a school, and are hoping to take it around schools. Anyway, I’m hoping for big things- they’re a great emerging theatre company with lots of potential.

Brains – Thick and Thin Theatre.

Brains, by Thick and Thin Theatre company explores the psych of the other people during pandemics. The people who exploit the public for money, rather than charity. It looks at a pharmaceutical company, not only surviving, but thriving through a zombie apocalypse.

Written and directed by Cameron Szerdy, the mix of the characters complimented each other well. The full ensemble scenes were the best of the show. Ursula, the cold, badass, ball-grapping, CEO (Stephanie Overington); Harry, the rich, drug-addled arsehole (Aidan Parsons); Tina, the young, social media obsessed, and slightly dim teenage intern (Aine Nettleton); Jeff, the punchline to most of the jokes, however definitely a character in his own rights (Jack Dent); Stewart, scientist, and friend of Jeff – a lot of the comedy coming from their duo (Tom Spencer); Rosie, the idyllic, moral-compass, new recruit (Jo Mance); and finally a cameo of a cleaner, who has to deal with the mess from the other characters.

The fast pace of the show, equipped with quirky one liners, and some wonderfully terrible puns, created a quaint, interesting performance. The actors themselves, had great chemistry and their strong performance as an ensemble, really made the show.  I loved the intimate environment, which connected us, as an audience even more. The plot was interesting, and a great exploration of the human psych, with dark undertones, and definite political undertones, looking at corporate exploration.

A great piece of Fringe Theatre, which I enjoyed thoroughly.

On a personal note, I went to see it on press tickets, granted it wasn’t through this blog, but regardless it was still very exciting, and I felt I should write a review.