Edinburgh Fringe 2016
It’s all here and in front of a giant glitter ball – the club, the owner, the two detectives who are dysfunctional, the caper and the drugs. They collide in the case of a missing girl who knows too much and we have two misfits trying to find her whilst the cops are trying to bring the club down. It ends up with them working together to solve a case that includes all the clichés of US TV detective series of the 1970’s and an undercover plot that runs deep but not too deep that the girls don’t get it…
We have the 1970’s in costumes, attitudes and script. The text does not leave anything to chance, layering it on thick like you would be unable otherwise to capture the times. The basic premise of a missing girl who knows too much, the dugs doing mean things to the guys who take them and the muddled way in which people stumbled upon the truth rather than being clever is all there. It includes more than a dose of misogyny.
What is missing is taught direction and the acting is very patchy. We get some very good set pieces – like the trip taken by Val. It was a masterpiece. Had the acting been of that calibre throughout then we would have had a triumph. It wasn’t. We get pass marks for some but high praise for Toni Garcia Romero who is given the stage to develop and prance as Joe. With Niall Ross Hogan as Val they motor this production and their work is one of the reasons they got a standing ovations from some in the audience at the end. For the rest they seem to get caught in the headlights of the cliché ridden script and gave us cameos rather than characters.
As an example of bad directorial choice – there was one point early on where the choice of asking someone from the lighting desk to shout out when you had actors backstage – running into double figures – that seemed odd.
Theatrically it is all there with a very decent set that is slightly cluttered at times but nonetheless very functional, the lighting and sound works – the music all disco an dance beats.
This is a young company who have taken a bit of a risk with this and to all intents and purposes it has paid off. They have gathered some momentum, it is funny, the denouement a little dramatic but there is some soul in this. By the end you do care who gets “shafted” but it does leave you with the feeling that there needed to be a firmer direction to it all.