Edinburgh Fringe 2015
Mark and Jackie start out apart but end up together as Mark takes his 25th birthday celebrations seriously. It leads him into trying to escape the work colleagues, taking more drugs than may be safe and spitting on one of his workmates. He follows on into a fight where he nearly died before the angel which is Jackie arrives to save his life, spend the rest of the night with him and then disappear into her morning.
Like the night itself this is a relentless piece of poetry. Mark aka Sheffy is on a mission. Friday night 6pm, lacoste top and plenty to say – it’s the weekend, his weekend. All he has to do is shake off the people who bore him at work. As a philosophy graduate he has the intelligence to know why taking drugs, getting loud and being a lad may be philosophically unsound but with Sartre whispering in his ear he has an existential night of debauchery ahead. It ends in a fight he never wanted with a man with whom he never wanted to argue whilst Jackie is there to help him in his final battle.
I loved this. What made me particularly sad was that I was only one of four in the audience. Both actors went at it as if they had an arena full and left me in awe. This is a text which makes no apologies for its explanation of being a lad. In essence it could be argued it is a manifesto of sorts. What it clearly is, is theatrical. Between the pauses for thoughts, the lights coming up and going down and the dancing – this makes sense and illuminates more than I wanted to know but am glad that I heard it.
Between the theatre arts that helped illuminate to the polished and passionate performances in front of us this was poetry at an edge that made uncomfortable points. The narrative and the pace was not forced but was incredibly well timed. The issue for some may be that this is the testimony of an urban night time guerrilla/gorilla (your choice). There are some uncomfortable things spoken of and confronted. It is unapologetic, even boastful but as theatre is designed to give us a platform for the hard of speaking we should be open to hearing their cause.
Performances like this can divide people but if you want to hear a story that has a poetic twist or three, is not what it seems, makes rhyming schemes relevant to the 21st century and relentlessly refuses to back down then this is for you.