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Edinburgh Fringe 2021

Sweating the Small Stuff

York DramaSoc

Genre: Devised, Drama, Fringe Theatre

Venue: Space@Triplex


Low Down

One young man starts to talk to us. He is joined over the initial section by others to talk about the clichés that determine our lives, the mantras given air when people wish to brush things off or give some comfort. We are then taken through the young company’s original take on making things better by concentrating on what matters. Part theatrical event and part motivational effort, it comes across as worthy and worthwhile. We cover subjects that matter to our young cast including sex education and periods.



There is a confidence in this company which translates well to us as an audience. The issue is with the structure which does seem to struggle to find its own rhythm. I was therefore finding some of the connections so loose they fell off a little. There are highlights – the selfie tableaux at the beginning, monologues on periods another but the structure feels a lot like a group of young people being given a microphone to tell us off.

The script could therefore do with some tenderness and given that this is material which has been given first-hand, it is little more than it deserves. There could be a bolder approach taken. The beginnings are there and glimpses of how to make this more than a series of monologues – dramatic even – should be grasped with both hands. Onstage the ability is clearly there.

The performances are great though. There is little doubt that this is a group with tremendous depth. They have a confidence which is far from brash. They tackle topics which would make maiden aunts blush but do so in a way which inspires and draws you in. Had I had their confidence when I was younger then, I am sure those around me would have felt better as we fed off each other in talking openly about the very things – like masturbation – that nobody talks about, does or experiences. Except they do.

Technically there was an issue over the use of the lights. They appeared, at times, as random participants. And then towards the end, there was a period of complete darkness. Sight lines became an issue when people sat at the front of the stage which is due to the setting and venue but getting into a rhythm for the show should allows changes to happen to correct that; I was near the back and lost people when they sat down.

I liked this in parts and can see great potential in the rest. It could do with the theatricality which manages to be shown at times but needs to have a more regular slot. `