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Edinburgh Fringe 2013



Genre: Children's Theatre

Venue: Summerhall


Low Down

By Jan Sobrie, new English version by Oliver Emanuel. Directed by Lu Kemp, produced by macrobert. A drama about telling big lies and small truths. About pigs that fall in love. About crows that talk. About fish that fall from the sky. About running away and finding yourself. The story of a 10 year-old boy on the edge – literally on the roof of his school – confronted by a situation that seems hopeless. He can either give up or fight.


Titus is a 10 year old boy; he is named after the family pet pig. He is bold, bright and laughs at boobs the size of your head. He makes bubble baths from Nurofen and draws on his bedroom walls. He is standing on the edge of his school roof top, well actually it’s a table top in the middle of the stage, with a spotlight focusing on his face. A stream of consciousness begins to fall from his mouth and it becomes clear that he wants to jump. Peering down onto the faces of his school chums, head master and father.

He contemplates a frustrated relationship marked by a lack of intimacy with his father, a man of few words. We sense that this is a catalyst for his detachment from reality. He shares intimate feelings for his mother and grandma, his heart glistens in reminiscence. We see the 10 year old eyes widen when he talks of Tina his first love, telling stories of romantic gestures girls could only wish for.

Performer by Joseph Arkley, holds our attention with his dynamism and stage presence. At the beginning, he uses the space with audaciousness; it would be interesting to see this tested throughout the play. I feel that the children would have benefitted from more movement.  At times the text washed over the heads of the younger children, which is inevitable. However, when the energy dropped Joseph pulled it back with explosive intonation and colourful alliteration.

Originally written by Jan Sobrie, recently translated by Oliver Emanuel and directed by Lu Kemp. Macrobert productions gives you an engaging, witty and heartfelt show. it made me laugh out loud, think and wonder. I even shed a wee tear at the end.

Moral of the story…Don’t jump, because life is beautiful.



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