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FringeReview Scotland 2017

Ways to Shine

BA Acting students, Callum Findlay and Amy Kennedy

Genre: Children's Theatre, Drama, Theatre

Venue: Circle Studio, Citizens Theatre


Low Down

In a performance aimed at those a little shorter than I, and presented as part of the annual On The Verge Festival, from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland this is a simple tale, told to show us how Day and Night should help each other out to find balance on the planet. Following a day in the life of two souls who inhabit the planet, day and night are finally shown the wisdom of the ways of helping rather than fighting in a way that provokes and creates harmony in the world of higgledy pig.


We enter to the sight of our two performers rearranging parts of the set which are various plant pots, some filled and others empty in the Circle Studio of the Citz. As they move various pots and props it is obvious that this has more of a traditional feel than seat of your pants edginess.

Written by one of the performers, Callum Finlay, this is a rhyming script with much to commend it and with 15 minutes to fill we are left in no doubt as to the wisdom of their point of view. The problem becomes one where the ending, which is unavoidable, is rather quick and rushed. The time allowed to get from we have a problem to here is the solution is perhaps part of the issue as it is hardly enough time to get your environmental coat off before it is time to go home.

The vast canvass on which they are performing coupled with their target audience means that without any of them in the audience it is hard to judge whether or not it would hold a tot’s attention for the whole period of time they are onstage. I guess it would as they perform with great charm and enthusiasm that would captivate and hold the attention of many a wriggly toddler. One of the real strengths was the relationship between the two performers though at times the male led and the female followed. If we are aiming at a more gender neutral world it would be good to deal positively with that.

Overall, though only 15 minutes long they packed in plenty of action though it was more an elaborate use of object theatre and visual storytelling than exciting. Theatre arts were effectively used and of course the filled plant pots had the right props at the right time. With more time, I think the narrative rush could be resolved, lengthened to take in more of the conflict, present, more of the  contrariness of entrenched positions and provide us with more excitement by harnessing the enthusiasm of both actors to the theatrical medium of which they have scratched the surface.


Show Website

On the Verge