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Edinburgh Fringe 2016

Yoke’s Night

Stay Up Late Collective in association with Bear Trap Theatre

Genre: Drama, Fringe Theatre, New Writing, Short Plays, Storytelling, Theatre

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard


Low Down

Due to a legal loophole, for 24 hours drugs in Ireland, are legal – Yoke’s night. We join Harry who meets Saoirse who go on a night out that neither may forget but he will not want to remember. They collide in a club and from there she enthrals him with a story so awful that he must do all that he can to avenge her pain. When they find the object of that pain he is keen to show her just how much of a convert he is and it ends in a sticky mess before she leaves him with more than memories of the night to clear up.


This is full on and high tempo. At the beginning we get Harry Finnegan, an unemployed young lad with little by way of either prospects or qualifications. He embarks on a night in which he wants to indulge, little money by which to organise it and a desire to find love. With a few pennies from the pockets and purses of his loved ones he sets off. What follows is his quest for love turning into a relationship of doom where Saoirse first rejects and then ensnares him before he goes that one step too far and she reveals what he never wanted to hear.

Both actors go at this with the vitality of the young and it is not the worse for it. They have the characters in their heads and what we see onstage is both believable and visceral. Crisp direction with a foam based set around some clever graphics graffiti on the foam blocks makes for a very adaptable and highly effective backdrop as in turn they are a bus, a café and a statue, amongst many other things.

The theatre arts that are used are effective with the right balance of music and lights and particularly in the club we get to hear the dialogue – always good.

This feels like a night out and though the accents are a little thick we can get into the rhythm of the speech and of the night spent running round on an historic evening.

The ending is particularly brutal and very surprising. What makes this work better than most is the fact that we get a little insight into evil without any fanfare or hints. It takes us by surprise and makes us re-evaluate what we just watched which is great. It saves a script that I felt at times was a little lacking in depth but the overall punch it packs makes up for that – perhaps it needs a little more in the rehearsal room.

Overall though it left the evening hanging and remembered long after the walk away in the Edinburgh rain.