Edinburgh Fringe 2021
We begin in darkness, with a voiceover before we find ourselves sitting at a dinner party where three women in white enter. From there we have the feeling that at least one of them wishes us to escape whilst the other two are hell bent on something sinister. The sinister plays out as the drink gets drunk and the feeling of wooziness is the gateway to dreams that appear like nightmares. There are tensions within the group played out before we end at the end with camera work showing a final dessert – the Happy Birthday cake, with nobody smiling.
This is really good and the tensions within the group are very well played out. I found them exceptionally imagined as the direction gave focus to the obvious and not so obvious tensions within the grouping. I found the lack of an explanation over the whole affair a better entry point for me to feel intrigued and to try and work things out than being given the whole storyline – though my immersion came from being an observer in a film rather than in a theatrical experience it did work very well. It made me work and given the high production values in evidence here, that worked very well for me.
It has tremendous camera work. The blinking eyes when we are beginning to get tired and the slow motion as well as the lighting changes all add to the feeling of a sinister overview.
The set is beautiful and has the right elements of theatre with the focus on the table. That focus means that the section where we do not eat, the final montage and the argument between the three women are particularly filled with focus.
The performances set this apart too. Whilst it must be very difficult within a theatrical piece to really perform without the responses your performances deserve, this has ensemble throughout it. We have three strong women with the ability to delve into their character’s psyche without losing the thread of those personalities and the effect they are aiming to achieve as a company is very well handled – I might be too terrified to try this out live! It did, nevertheless remind me of why getting into that big black box is more pressing than ever because this is a group who deserve an audience, ironically because they have performed so well, without one!