Fringe Online 2021
Anne Wood gets a phone call. Someone who she has never met and does not know introduces himself as the man who has her as his client. In a back and forward discussion, he makes a claim for her engagement but as she is a suspicious and somewhat nervous woman, with little to give, she finds his offer both compelling and terrifying.
There are two principal elements to this piece. There is the set up and then the delivery. The set up is a short introduction that hints at high finance and comes with the types of production values that would not be out of place in a Hollywood film. Then in comes the two hander; one does not suit the other.
The promise of the high level production values left me with the problem of the dip to the reality. It is quite impressive whilst what follows impresses in quite different ways. It has decent direction, but the introductory production values don’t match what follows and when you watch without the opening titles, it works much better
The performances are good with the direction keeping them paced correctly as the interplay between both characters drives the narrative. It is clear that Anne is terrified and that her assailant is highly evasive but what does get a little lost is the point of it all. The towering male figure, shot from below, perhaps to heighten the menace is looking down on the weak and nervous woman. And that is where I think it lost me a little. I think the roles being reversed would have more to say about the nature of the call. The script has merit but is quite patchy and repetitive. We needed more to move it along.
Whilst it could have done with more in the way of a physical background, it has a charm with the sinister nature of it all well enough captured and we are, after all in lockdown.
It needs both better packaging and a further redraft of the script to draw out the subtleties. There is a creative team here who are good, with the narrative and the introduction removed or more in keeping with the story this could be a telling piece on something that affects us all.