Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Billed as a psychological suspense comedy this play does have potential. The execution of it is a little off. The opportunities are there though the weaknesses detract from the overall production. It is a very pleasant way to spend an hour but there may not be a rush to see it again. It was performed with three chairs, a table and three mugs of cocoa. The concept needs you to buy into a number of things – a character who is highly excitable, a man worth killing for and a belief that hysteria is alive and well in 2011. Two out of three aint bad.
The script has at its heart the belief that two women are able to gain entry into the basement of their friend’s house without their friend letting them in. They are then intrigued enough to begin the journey to hysteria thanks to one of them being clearly highly impressionable and you can see how you would get caught up in her personality and her enthusiasm for drama. Unfortunately there was insufficient support from her colleagues to allow us to hit the heights she was clearly scaling. It was too loose an ensemble performance to carry us completely.
The set was basic to the point where functionality was the only focus of the piece. A black box theatre was enough to create the dingy atmosphere of a cellar. The dripping tap that was used was very effective and I wish whenever I have a faulty piece of equipment it will prove me truthful at each and every turn that I ask it – like here. As a performance piece it may well manage to find other productions that would take it on for performance but it there are better examples out there. It was a pleasant morning’s entertainment but not one worthy of repetition.
The production was an interesting 10 o’clock event. The smell of the rolls and the coffee was more enticing though than the fare. You didn’t leave feeling that you had lost an hour of your life that would be hard to get back but you did get the feeling that it missed creating a real howler of a performance piece that would take farce into new levels. One of the reasons that you didn’t feel at one with the performance was the insipid character of Walter. I felt the portrayal was not enough to write home about never mind kill for. It may have been the way it was directed.
As such it was entertaining and full of promise but the fact that I was left, wanting it to deliver more meant it was a 3 star performance morning rather than anything else.