Fringe Online 2021
This is the simple story of a young woman moving from Manchester to London with such childlike wide eyed enthusiasm that when it does go wrong, and is not as dramatic as that sounds, we see her retreat under her duvet. In between we meet the family who have supported her with tears from mum, scathing comments from sister and ambivalence from dad. Voted most likely to succeed at College she ends up working in a Dinosaur themed restaurant with a manager who has the type of wandering hands that used to be standard fare in quite a few establishments. Her eventual conclusion, once under her duvet is that perhaps this move was a tad too soon.
There are some quite decent things in this, and the main character is played with wide eyed joy by Charlotte Anne Tilley in quite a charming manner. She is ably supported by a cast who have captured the ideas of each character and how they contribute to the narrative. It is a good set of performances that is convincing though at times it can be quite cliched.
The major issue is the script as it does not manage to scale the subtleties that would be expected in a piece that has recognizable tropes – the manager who can’t keep his hands off his staff, the father who doesn’t really pay attention, the sarcastic sister and the mother who bubbles at the loss of her baby. It needed something to make it unique. One of the characters needed to play against type or reveal something about themselves that added to the narrative.
The direction was, however, relatively tight, manage don a budget and though there were clear limitations on the filming, it did manage to bring a coherence to the piece which was good. Costumes, set and lighting contributed to that and the whole piece was held together by an impressive supporting role played by those elements. However, there were times that the sound dipped close to inaudible.
It’s a young company who have responded in a creative way to the pandemic and restrictions therein. For that it would be condescending to simply, give them credit but underneath that there are elements of real creativity that, with a different platform, could start to really shine through.