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Edinburgh Fringe 2012



Genre: Physical Theatre


Hill Street Studio


Low Down

Three journalists need to find tomorrow’s headlines from yesterdays news. A reflection on the process of creation and journalism, asking if the story can tell more about the teller than the told.


"A fast paced witty and cutting reflection" it said in the blurb
Witty yes, fast paced absolutely, a cutting reflection, hmm not so sure. Journalists are easy targets these days and frankly we’re not surprised by anything they do anymore.
I wanted to like this show and there certainly were aspects that I did like, I liked the youthful energy of an undeniably talented cast of actors, I liked their commitment and I liked the use of basic devices but I was also slightly disappointed, not hugel,y but overall I was left feeling somewhat shortchanged, and I think the actors themselves might well agree on reflection. It was unfortunate that the programme had led me to expect 1 hour and 15 mins so it came as a shock when it ended after 45 minutes, and it ended abruptly, almost as if they had given up the ghost, indeed the look on one young actor’s face was almost one of despair which I found very telling.
This is an energetic company who have found a good style, but the material did not serve their talents. I saw traces of early Spymonkey in their work and they would certainly do well to look to them for tips on how to pull off a farce. They do throw themselves into the fray with gusto and good will. I enjoyed the bouffon play of the three main characters, grotesques in a world of print and ephemera, the stage setting was good, sparse lighting effects well used and some early lovely surprises as inventive ways of introducing characters were found.

There were several stories meandering their way through the jumble on stage and at times the stage just felt too crowded for the characters, again a limitation that they can overcome, but the stories weren’t deep enough for me to care about any of the characters apart from one speech about love and loss which was strangely affecting in the maelstrom of newsprint, a quiet reflection in the middle of a storm of melodrama and frenzy. The show was a jumble of paper, a jumble of characters and a jumble of a plot, more than once one of the characters asked what was going on and I felt the same! It promised a weird family but didn’t deliver; true weirdness is out there but this wasn’t it, this was weird lite, and the clapping device was something they need to have a think about, the whole improvisation game is displayed for us far too often these days, I think we have had enough. Overall I expected more and I think they can deliver much more, it is a young company who needs to really set itself a challenge, there is evidently talent there. displayed by all the cast but cast off those old theatrical devices and make up some original ones, let yourself  breathe and inhabit the really weird rather than just costuming your characters and this will be a company to watch in the future.