Edinburgh Fringe 2018
David has a letter. In it he is told by the hospital, or so he thinks, that he will die precisely the next day. David’s sister, Louise has fallen out with her husband. It makes her unwilling to listen to her brother. Sophie has got the latest rare comic and both she and Dave are excited about it. Liam is Dave’s best friend. Dave confides in Liam about his death departure. Liam says he should have sex, Dave says he has fantasies over a woman at work. Liam organises a date. Dave says he is nervous. Liam suggests an escort and in one day Dave ends up with Sophie behind a sofa, co-worker and date arrive dearly Nicole in his bedroom, a prostitute in the kitchen and Louise and Liam to find all of this out in one fell swoop before cupid gets to play.
We begin with a warning that due to a cast member falling ill they had to recast. I was unable to spot who had been recast so there should be a tremendous pat on the back to whoever it was though I got confused when the escort arrived on crutches and there was no explanation given for them.
There were a few performances that were convincing and tried valiantly to speed this along. Their major problem was a series of implausible plot points. First we had the letter. As people could guess long before it was suggested, the idea that a letter arrives just on time to tell you that you have 24 hours to live is a tad far fetched. I was, however, able to take that ride as Dave appeared the type of person that could get caught up a la Tony Hancock in such nonsense.
Then there was the idea that for nearly £300 plus extras an escort would make a significant difference to preparing Dave for a night with another woman. If you could hang onto that, the loser Dave has a beautiful co-worker willing to sleep with him to make Colin in Accounts jealous. With the geeky and quite ridiculous Sophie sitting in the wings, Louise as a battle axe in a short skirt just waiting for the rollers, this slipped in and out of caricature for the women. Liam did not advance the cause of masculine maturity though as he came across as an over hormonal five year old.
It was, however directed well with sufficient pauses and interludes to make much of it convincing and kept you engaged with what may have been implausible if you had time to think about it. Costume set and props along with lighting and music worked well but overall this was something right out of the 1970’s. It needed a bit of a lift and the cast seemed able at times to pull us through it but with a bit better material look capable of a far better and more convincing job of it all.