Edinburgh Fringe 2015
Lizzy and Harry met. In the end one of them dies. In between we have a dog and a daughter as well as a newscaster and a doctor. Just what is real, what is imagined and how we are meant to come to terms with this is all conjecture unless you are Lizzy who is forced, by the end, to confront it all. All plot spoilers have been … hinted.
We meet Harry and Lizzy in their home. Lizzy is packing. We soon discover their love affair and how Harry has to go off to war. That loss is palpable for Lizzy and she finds life very difficult without Harry. Her pregnancy, coming to full term and the possibility of Harry’s death leave her wanting. At least that is what she would like you to believe.
This is an original script built on the back of a highly original denouement that cannot be done justice unless you see it. The performances from this young company are, however, the equal of the script. What we get is integrated dance and movement that adds to our understanding – or buying into a story that is more fiction than real. Lyrically the music adds a wonderful dimension that keeps you engaged as part of the action right through to the end. Yellow Roses in particular stays with you long after the actors have left the stage.
The set is more than functional. It also supports the telling of the story with one coup de theatre which is just stunning. Its appearance not only tells the story of why Lizzy’s pregnancy is not what it seems but also adds to you understanding of the text – you see the truth being played out and a representation of a fallacy disappear right before your eyes.
The direction was taught and measured. When there was a need for movement there was movement, when we needed stillness for contemplation it was portrayed with equal effectiveness. The sequence where sex is simulated using knee clapping is another set piece that was highly impressive.
There are a number of things which I thought were more than just impressive with this piece. That a new company, made up of young actors could achieve such heights is hardly news but to see a company integrate movement, create a score that haunted and a script with such a twist is more than special. I was bowled over by the fact that each element not only complemented the other but pushed their partners to achieve more. On its own the script was great. The movement without the script would have been impressive. The music stands solo and performances were impressive. They all then collide on one stage and we observe a thing of substance that goes beyond the sum of its parts. There have already been a number of plaudits for this piece and another with added superlatives is hardly going to provide fame and fortune but this is a collaboration that requires such praise. It is a beautifully written, well directed and fantastically well underscored piece of theatre that demands, nay deserves, continued repeating.