Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Venue: Gilded Balloon Teviot - Sportsmans
Festival: Edinburgh Fringe
Three young women, one obsession: facebook. Let the Facebook Fables take you on a spiralling journey of deceit, naivety and revenge. An all female cast portray several different social stereotypes in an effort to illustrate the dangerous obsessive nature of many facebook users. Fantastically sharp and perfectly executed, this is a highly enjoyable show, especially for any of members of the increasingly intrusive cyber community.
The play is based around three main characters; Fiona, Isabelle and Keeley. Having only recently split with the love of her life William, Isabelle, suspecting there was more to the breakup than he is willing to admit, sets up a facebook page for said ex, hoping for some enlightenment. Almost instantly, two women start chatting to the handsome new member; Fiona having heard his voice over the phone at work and Keeley an old flame from his school days. Iz’s manipulative games soon spiral, peaking in a twisted meeting of the three girls combined with an unexpected ending…
The play, rapidly approaching it’s 18th month in production is polished and undeniably exudes an air of professionalism. Dance moves are sharply choreographed, lines eloquently and crisply narrated, costume changes quicker than the tap of a mouse. There is very little to criticise: it has been practised to perfection. This, however acts as a double handed compliment: it seems a little too perfect, a little too rehearsed, a little too spot on. The plays’ finesse could be dangerously close to falling into a monotonous recital, rather than the razor sharp edge it currently displays.
Set is kept basic, the plot relying on the physicality of the script. The three hugely talented actresses really pull this play together, working with their natural chemistry to produce relationships that are both believable and deliciously interlinked. The characters themselves could potentially benefit from a bit more depth; many of them stick firmly within the constraints of social clichés. This is, however, only a minor point as on the whole the array of characters satisfies on a comedic level whilst highlighting the ease of pigeon-holing individuals.
Sound and lighting is similarly seamless and smooth. A great deal of creativity has obviously been exercised in the relationship between visual projections and script. The play, as well as being well executed, is also sexy and visually exciting to look at.
Revealing that the world wide web is also home to a web of lies, the Facebook Fables is a successful portrayal of our modern addiction to social networking sites. With all too familiar moments of excessive “stalking” the play is both terrifyingly accurate and brilliantly witty. Go see, and hopefully, it will make you think twice about that escalating habit…