Edinburgh Fringe 2017
With a ball pool in the centre of the stage that would entice a 1 year old, it serves as a metaphor for the piece which takes us through the agonies and the near ecstasies of having a quarter century crisis of thinking what am I doing here and how do I look to others? Told by 4 friends who are actors, a teacher and a student who may or may not decide to go into Glasgow University in September – we get to choose by the way…, this is a series of set plays and the odd piece of audience interaction as a run through what is going through their heads. It’s an engaging and lovely trip down a lane of confusion, doubt and joy that leaves me thinking, thank God I am older.
Of course, age does not bring wisdom and whilst it could be argued that at 25 the biggest decisions might be whether to use the milk that is out of date on your cereal – or whether coco pops is still the appropriate cereal for your age – the fact is that there are massive life changing decisions to be made in your twenties. Consider the issue of whether you should leave your family home. AT 25? Then I remember that my own son is 24 and … and actor … and he is due back home today … after having spent a year in digs, he has come back, thank the Lord, to stay… I become less judgmental then…
Our four guides are engaging and bright and nothing less than a joy in telling the tale and keeping us on our toes with questions to be answered and a format that has clearly been tested and is assured in its delivery and retelling. There is never a dip and there is never anything less than really interesting, as we tip toe through the tulips of doubt and the dandelions of fear, as there are thoughts from parents and descriptions of a childhood that was, in general idyllic.
Of course, not one of these guys suffered any kind of trauma, or at least are not willing to share it so if you are after a 60 minute sorry tale of how my uncle was not very wholesome this is not the show for you. What you do get is a great 60 minutes of humour, reminiscence and what seems to be the point in your lifer where the telling of a tale becomes more about what happened years ago to what happened minutes ago.
The set was functional and with that reminder of the child in the centre the lighting, the audience engagement and the music that brings us into the spotlight worked very well indeed.
And so it is a great and indulgent hour of entertainment that kept us all wanting to hear more and with one of the actor’s mums in the audience perhaps that was what was sought in the bars afterwards; of course at 25 they would be allowed in the bar but their hearts seems to want to just dive into that ball pool.