Edinburgh Fringe 2021
Boy decides to date. Girl decides to date. They have friends and family who think this is a fantastic idea and they support them in all of their choices. The restaurant prepares itself for their arrival and makes sure that they have somewhere to find true love whilst helping them out as they need support in their anxious states to encourage talking. They talk. They expose themselves and explore the topics of pain and panic before recognizing in each other what it is that makes them want to move on, progress and get on with their lives. And then… Well… Not all endings get told…
There is a lot to really like about this show. I love the fact that they have been bold enough to do several things – firstly, not to provide us with the pat, lazy ending; also, they use a variety of theatrical techniques within a hazy structure that asks us to think and not just observe; and then there is the use creatively of movement. There are too many productions which seek to take the young and shoehorn them into the plays of the past hoping that a 22-year-old playing a middle-aged mother will look convincing. Here she does (I have no idea her age, but she looks around early 20’s) because the whole show is not trying to pretend that it is something which it isn’t. They are talking about issues that affect them in a way that their training and career allows them – creatively.
Some of the technical elements could do with bedding in over time – lighting for example – but this does not affect it adversely. I think elements of the script could also do with a polish – sometimes the restaurant staff are speaking “plot expose and commentary” rather than genuine narrative. And the direction is quite plodding at times and could do with taking more of the elements of the theatre and push creatively. The panic in the toilet and the handing in of the clothes rail for example, could have been better handled, though the party scene was a highlight!
But overall, the combination of all the theatrical parts made this a treat. The decision not to give us that ending though – sheer genius. Bold, creative, true to itself and well told. Welcome back theatre by the young uns, been too long…