Edinburgh Fringe 2021
Six students stuck in house begin the show around a kitchen table. Playing games to alleviate the boredom they begin the revelations that come from being stuck in the same house, over the same things and then spending the time that student spend when studying – partying, trying out their relationships and trying to hide their true feelings. Over time what happens is that one half of a couple descend into a jealous rage about a kiss but target the wrong gender. We also have someone who should be in love trying to fall in love and the rest are bit parts in the craziness of life experienced whilst studying for your future.
This has a lot of good material which gets a little lost in the packaging. The structure of being in the house and trying to keep it “real” and “realistic” hinders it. Had they thrown caution out the window like a discarded Domino’s box on a Tuesday, then we would be looking and watching a more creative piece of theatre.
It works best when there is little by way of structure – the dumb show in particular, where a look tells us everything. There is a looseness which needs to be tightened. It means a level of confusion at times which makes it a difficult watch.
When it is good though it is very good and some of the observations especially some of the more tender moments are deftly handled. For example when the exercise book is discovered having been ripped up and that strand of the narrative begins, there is a huge amount of fantastic work being done onstage.
Technically there are areas, especially in lighting, that needs to bed in throughout the run. Making it slicker would help and the set and the costume are absolutely on point for the performance.
The structure therefore tends to make it find itself in difficult places, but the overall feel of the performance is one of potential. There is real ability throughout and this could be pushed further giving a more creative voice to the authentic opinions and experiences of all onstage.