Edinburgh Fringe 2018
Testament explores memories and trauma. Max searches for meaning of his unravelling sense of self, through modernised biblical characters. Do they help or hinder his journey back to his brother Chris, and the harsh pain of reality?
Grand themes of biblical narrative and grief and loss are boldly explored by this young graduate group.
Max is a young man dealing with the sudden death of his girlfriend. We meet him in the grip of grief and temporary insanity, searching for meaning through religion, wild eyed and desperate as he comes up against expectations of modern masculinity.
Testament can be proof, evidence. Also a covenant between man and God. Max turns his back on proof and dives deep into his preferred reality. He rejects family and Doctors and begins a dialogue with light and dark. Denial is a powerful protector. But it can’t last forever.
Well cast and enthusiastically performed, this is an engaging performance that unravels the details of a devastating plot in front of our eyes, while our tortured protagonist similarily unravels. Time is running out. While heavy in subject matter, biblical archetypes in suits and dodgy moustaches bring a much needed levity and philosophical perspective. This production delivers a fun, fresh and enjoyable show. Particular mention to the riveting and committed performance of Max juxtaposed, against the earthy realism of Chris and of course to Jesus and The Devil whose well paced comic timing added texture. The whole cast came together particularly well in fast paced physical scenes.
The medic in me initially resisted the somewhat soap opera feel to the hospital montages but the detail is irrelevant (unless a pinnikity anaesthetist or neurosurgeon finds themself in the audience), the nausea of mental confusion is mirrored cleverly here; absurdist theatre executed brilliantly and disturbingly.
My favourite scene was actually the boys’ night out, full of cheeky humour and pleasing choreography. The sound production comes into its own as we join the lads on the dance floor and in the toilets and even the “devil’ arrives all cockney and car salesman, squirting scents for sale to “seal the deal” with the ladies.
A thought provoking, fun and energetic piece of theatre.