Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Venue: C soco, Chambers Street (until 22 Aug)
Bob’s going on his first date in two years. His internal attributes – Logic, Nerves, Libido, Confidence and Bull – are working frantically to get him ready when long-sleeping Emotion wakes up and brings a painful Memory with her, threatening to turn the occasion into a disaster.
“An ordered mind is the key to happiness” announces Logic as he tries to bring cohesion to Bob’s biggest night out in 2 years – a date with a new girlfriend. But conflict and confusion are never far from the surface in this clever, short piece from John Shanahan. Despite looking like and displaying all the characteristics of an actuary (methodical, analytical, mathematical and logical),
Logic faces an uphill battle to get Bob into shape for his date. Nerves is a bundle of, well, nerves, bouncing off all corners of the stage. Libido has got just one thing on his mind. Bull looks and sounds like Rik Mayall as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder and Confidence was a little short – in fact, barely knee high to a grasshopper. Nice trick to match the physique of the actors to the attributes they were playing.
Then, just when Logic has got this merry gang into some semblance of order, Emotion stirs. And when Memory threatens to throw a spanner in the works by tormenting Bob about his “ex”, Logic has got a genuine crisis to deal with. But the unlikely figure of Nerves springs to the rescue, persuading Emotion to leave Memory behind and join him and the other attributes in moving Bob on to his future, rather than letting him be dragged down by the Memory of his past. Memory is banished and Bob gets the girl.
Strong performances from Logic (Andy McKeane), Nerves (Pip Brignall) and Confidence (Dani Cancelliere) paper over one or two small cracks in the other characters and occasional idiosyncratic moments with the spotlighting. Bob’s Date is a reminder of the conflicting feelings we all get on occasions such as this, a play that allows actors the chance to develop a character around a single attribute which the cast by and large achieved to the delight of an appreciative audience.