Edinburgh Fringe 2023
Two creatures, from different planets, end up thrown together on a planet, having sought refuge on a spaceship which has now crashed. Miraculously, both have survived and are now forced to contemplate how to get off the planet. They begin by sharing whatever liquid there may be left – urine – and then try and find common ground, which is seemingly non-existent. When a probe arrives and they struggle to work out who should be the one to leave and send back a rescue team, the ship that could have taken one of them disappears, leaving them stranded further. By the end there is a mutual dependency, just like between a character and their creator – how meta.
There are elements of this which I think were either way over my head or it was an in joke to which I had not got the memo/email/space dust. People around me found it hilarious and whilst I struggled to catch up, however what was perfectly poised was the delivery. Whilst I might have felt a little out of sorts, I could not ignore the fact that what I was witnessing was a very good piece of theatre. Gripes over.
This was a polished script that built each character by managing their interaction with great skill. Scenes were well developed with a polished and benefitted from a crafty delivery from each of our actors. This was a piece of theatre where tone and pace were paramount. Where there was a need to play for comedy, pauses and the slowing down of delivery drew the audience in and smoothly delivered them to the punchlines. It was exquisitely done.
To add to the science fiction feel of the extravaganza we were witnessing, the props also made a difference – especially the spaceship that could have rescued them. It was as ridiculous as the nose on the Junk Dealer and the hat on the Baron’s head. When the interplay between them worked best it was when we had the pranks were being played. The skeleton in particular was very, very funny.
Given that this was built on a premise that did not exist and was not in our knowledge base, this made the relationship between each of them and with their audience even more remarkable. It depended upon that interaction between script and characters which required a decent director to make the whole entity work. It worked well here.
Theatrically the props were at a minimal, the effects appropriate and aided our engagement and by the end there were plenty of people leaving still laughing as they had been when they had started to watch the show. I found it really funny. Though at the beginning I was unsure, by the end they had me and whilst it may not be my genre, it was certainly a piece of theatricality I would recommend as an example of the best.