Edinburgh Fringe 2017
It’s a party to celebrate the end of 2017, held early because we want rid of a horrible year. With the premise that Ben has been told that it really is New Year’s Eve we get rollicking on through some of the events of 2017 that have been part of Alex, James and Ben’s life for the year. By the end the conceit is revealed and to be fair, we could not care less, as we have all had such great fun.
There are some great set pieces here with Auld Lang Syne a cracker involving a member of the audience, the “live” phone calls, Hit “ler” Ball and what was the highlight of their year. We get a sense of the three actors having a lot of fun because they really enjoy both their own company and also doing this onstage with an audience appreciating all their hard work; and it is hard work.
This type of show needs to show it as mayhem, ironically we are in the Bedlam Theatre, but requires such a high level of organisation and skill that what looks effortless involves such a lot of rehearsal and thought; this seems fun and enjoyment from the first party popper.
There is never a minute that any of the three of them let up with the relentless fun that is part of their performance. The lighting, sound and music are perfectly pitched as we get the party atmosphere being one to which we would all like an invite.
The conceit allows for a lot of interplay between the actors and we are able to get a real sense of who each are, pretty early on. The trio then allow us to feel sorrow for each as well as the hope of romance and the naivety, particularly of Ben which turns out to be quite misplaced.
What is quite remarkable is that, though this is a late ish night performance they are not delving into the profane to make you laugh. It allows the narrative to breathe and show how clever it actually is. By the end the applause and singing along to the new lyrics to a very old favourite in the country where the original was born is something that was great and showed just how skilled these performers were and how much I could not wait for their New Year’s Eve in 2018… I wonder if they tour…?