Edinburgh Fringe 2018
Four young women present their woes and solutions for us to ponder as one is gay, another Christian, one the ping pong ball in a parents’ divorce whilst another suffers from anxiety. All have friendships and connections that are explored and exposed in a devised piece of theatre that has sound research and understanding at its heart that manages to explain and explore many aspects of what being human and young may be like now.
This is a very clever piece of theatre that uses both the skills of each performer and the structure of theatre to ask searching questions of themselves and us. From the opening where each of the four have intermingled monologues, sometimes speaking their own words, often speaking the collective’s they move into dramatically intermingled stories which may connect them but often do not practically but do so thematically.
There are narratives that show a deep understanding of how people, not just young people, have complex back stories. It avoids many clichés so we get the Christian and not the Muslim, the anxious rather than the suicidal, the poet who negotiates with both parents rather than the runaway and the strong lesbian lover fighting with her emotions rather than the weak lesbian trying not to be discovered.
When it works, it works very well and from the coffee shop and the club scene to the way that anxiety is addressed to the Doctor’s “consultation” that seems to increase anxiety there were points of poignant beauty. At times, though the danger of being confusing as four actors played many parts and were in frequent search of their next character made it difficult to work out when two principals knew each other and when they just bumped into each other in a club toilet. Overall though this hit and hit true more than it missed.
Where it won me over was the way in which it kept moving. There were scene changes and movement set pieces that kept the theatricality of it all at the forefront with sufficient insight to make it more womanhood than teenage angst. The interaction between the music and technical effects was a tad patchy, the movement and the integration of music hits, the set and costume less so. Both understandable, given we are the Fringe and not the National, and with a bigger budget, proper resources and the investment to develop this further there is a company here who has the ability, the craft and should be handed the opportunity to close the space between them and significant success. It was a great way to spend an afternoon and it’s highly recommended you follow my footsteps.