Edinburgh Fringe 2016
An episodic piece of theatre that takes a theme and stretches it elastically through a number of scenarios – some that work – some a little less so. As a piece of devised entertainment it asks plenty of questions, leaving the answers hanging and the audience feeling that they have seen a piece of theatre that, in the main, works very well.
This is always a tricky one – scenes from a theme that may not build the characterisations and storylines from the beginning to the end. This is also a young company who may not have the experience to adapt and use the tricks of the trade to make things gel. In both areas Felix Culpa provide characters and scenes which are very believable and belie their age when it comes to the adept hand they show when presenting the piece.
The set is very simple – as it ought to be – whilst the themes are huge and massive, leaving us in little doubt that we are going to see human life at its most vulnerable. The number of young girls who have gone missing mounts as time progresses and between some of the detectives who are comic and those parents left behind who are tragic we get taken on a relatively subtle roller coaster.
The lighting and sound are not intrusive though perhaps a little more in terms of set would help us and the theatre arts might be better applied in some cases but this does the trick for engaging with us and raising issues. Within the context of the Fringe there is little you can do with quick set changes and tiny spaces but sometimes you need to innovate.
By the end of it all I was very glad I had found them and spent the hour watching. This was a well-polished piece that I think has benefitted from having an extended run. There was enough evidence in their piece to believe that the show had built from firm foundations into a piece of theatre that was challenging and showing these young people in parts that were too old for them but they inhabited very fairly comfortably. It was however when playing the parents that I found it I was completely unable to suspend my disbelief.
If you like devised theatre then this could be the one for you – you might start looking at the sides of milk cartons more often too… (If they still do that…)