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FringeReview Scotland 2016

We Always Knew This Day Was Coming

Daniel Purves

Genre: Devised, Drama, Fringe Theatre, Interactive, LGBT Theatre, Live Art, New Writing, Short Plays, Theatre

Venue: Pearce Institute, Govan, Glasgow


Low Down

Daniel Purves has a few tales to tell. Inviting audience members to come up to the microphone and ask for them to be told and then find themselves in them, he allows 1 minute per telling to tease and please you over what happened next.


We arrive in the venue to sit down either side of a traverse stage. Purves is standing at one end. At the other end is a microphone and he tells us of the rules of our engagement. We are directed to see the titles of the stories to which we are going to become aware and they are pinned up on the walls either side of the stage. We can ask for each one to be told, we can ask more than once and then we are in them. Fortunately there are enough drama students in the audience that this show does not end after 1 minute. Purves takes each person onstage and tells them who they are in the drama and then acts out a short extract with them.

The formula means that we get snippets and cliff-hangers, some of which work better than others. It is this uneven mixture and the dependency on having a willing audience that can limit the possibilities of this type of performance however, in here there is a great idea for a show. I think Purves got so far and there was perhaps a wee loss of confidence. We could do with more than a minute and I don’t mind if we are cheated and people get 2 or 3 minutes. It is the telling of the story that is so good.

As he has told us about how he went from being with his girlfriend to outing himself as gay I can see this type of performance theatre having tremendous receptions in LGBT youth groups throughout the UK – in fact with all youth groups.

Purves is a very charming presence onstage and has the right cheeky, behind the back rapport with his audience that nods to the seaside postcard but keeps the variety in the performance. One major gripe I have is – learn all your lines and DON’T read from pieces of paper. I know they were lists off the internet and magazines but they would have had a much better impact had he known them by heart and not appeared to have been making up the adlibs.

Overall the audience, including me, enjoyed the beginnings though, by the time we got to the end of the show there did not seem to be many endings. Again this was an issue as we go lots of raised hopes and I would wonder if we got to the end of one and not have anything left to tell; mind you that never happened so perhaps I should stop worrying. Purves gave us a pleasant and interesting hour, I just look forward to getting to the end of one of his tales in the future.