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Edinburgh Fringe 2022

Triple Bypass: Three Ten Minute Plays About Living for Death and Dying for Life

Hardly Working Promotions LLC

Genre: Drama, New Writing

Venue: theSpace on the Mile - Space 1


Low Down

From a visit of a woman asked to come over to kill you, to when one music icon arrives to enter heaven with another icon waiting to transition there to a story of a spider who doesn’t listen, we get three plays designed to examine death in a creative manner. They do not disappoint as an abuser is confronted by the wee girl who saw it from next door but is now all grown up, the arrival of Amy Winehouse to be met by Karen Carpenter and then a spider desperate for love with his eye on a widow that the bee cannot put him off..


Each of these scripts deal with the same subject but in a different manner. The first, Seeking Dignity, is about release and having the opportunity to end your life with dignity. Unfortunately for our willing victim, it is with a degree of dignity he never allowed his victims to have. It is a very strong piece of work. Secondly, Close to Black, the fantasy of seeing Winehouse meet Carpenter, both of whom died tragically suggests that your own hand is often not strong enough in an industry filled with commodities – chiefly human commodities. It has merit but having any icons onstage brings with them baggage and in the short time we have I don’t know if there is sufficient time to get beyond the platitudes. The final piece, Tango-ed Web, is the more fantastical and it does have a challenge in getting insects onstage to provide us with serious comment. It manages only just.

There are some issues with each of them, not just the fact we have around 10 minutes with each to form a view but in the first our invalid seems rather sprightly. In the second, our two icons are subtle but the idea that Winehouse would not be familiar with Carpenter, even though they are in heaven seems like asking me to suspend my disbelief a little too far. The final piece has it all to do with the insects but makes a decent fist of it, especially as the staging causes some real problems.

The set is clearly for the middle script, Close to Black, and it causes the other two logistical issues. It is not spectacular enough to mitigate against the problems of staging the other companion pieces.

This is a team of actors who work hard and give decent performances despite some of the challenges they face, not all of their own making. I felt at times they were acting opposite each other rather than together which worked in the first piece but not totally the other two.

Despite that it is a series of performances that deserves credit for the enthusiasm and the approach to each script. As it had originated as three online performances, perhaps next time out the physical opportunities should be more explored than the quality of the writing