Edinburgh Fringe 2019
We are invited to have a front row seat at a local amateur theatre company’s discussion of their new play which one of their number has written. All the tensions of a community that know each other just that bit too well come to the fore as Denise is looking for some balls, Fleur is looking for the poetry, Jan’s the writer, Ken’s looking for inspiration, Jack’s looking for someone to mention the goat he drew for The Sound of Music, an interloper is looking for direction and Phyliss just needs to find her voice. By the end the resolution in this popular one act comedy includes the most unlikely of couplings and revelations but this company leave us all smiling at the inevitable.
This is a very decent run at the comedy despite some of the gaps that exist where they struggle to fully express the ensemble nature of some of it, but their enthusiasm allows you to invest fairly heavily in the performances. Casting issues mean that their Ken is a little on the young looking side, the stranger who arrives is female and not male though they all look like what they are supposed to be – a collection of the most likely to turn up and attend weekly rehearsals for a play.
In terms of direction there were some places where extra rehearsals to get through the way you show bad acting as opposed to indulge in it would have helped. For a few, too much was simply, too much. Some of the reactions were so over the top that they lost some of their credibility and didn’t always find the humour. Enthusiasm, played well enough, can seem sincere rather than self indulgent and for the most part their sincerity shone through. At times I thought though, that they missed a wee trick or two where a more seasoned cast would have picked up the look and the need to communicate onstage rather than communicate out to the audience.
At times cues suffered from being dropped which affected the pace of the piece. That having been said it was well proportioned onstage with entrances and exits generally well handled. Their interaction between each other did show signs that they knew more than a need to not bump into the furniture.
The set was good and the overall technical craft on show was pretty good too.
This is a decent 40 minutes that manages to make you laugh or giggle whilst giving these enthusiastic actors a good run out at the Fringe. There is very little to object to and much though the over acting could be irritable, it’s an amateur theatre company committee meeting. Having attended more than a few of them I know that this is an accurate depiction and Our Star managed to show what happens within them without making light of them; no mean feat!