As the audience file into their seats, the actors have already begun; all clutching plastic cups containing alcohol, the group of 20-somethings chat amongst themselves, casually ‘bantering’. This is a familiar scene to most of those in the audience, as we witness the beginning of a drunken night out between friends. A scene of normality which is quickly converted into an intrinsic piece questioning our paths in life, In The Attic productions provides the audience with a lens to the darker side of the modern world.
The plot gradually explores each of the character’s deep seated concerns and failed attempts to live up to their own expectations. It does occasionally feel overly confessional: one tale of woe after another. Yet, I must admit each tale is fascinating in itself, focusing on how what appear to be trivial social moments – such as falling out with a friend, being dumped or feeling uncertain as to who you are – can actually be quite uprooting.
A special mention should go to the character of Kate (Emma Mulkern), the girl with attitude, who oozes angst. Mulkern excellently masters the stage, the small girl with a fiery tongue who could call anyone out for acting out of line. She is at her best when the tough girl act falls away, and Kate’s sensitive and lonely self is exposed in true vulnerability.
Between the other characters, there is also an exceptional amount of chemistry – humorous moments feel natural in each conversation, rather than forced for the audience’s enjoyment. But, I can’t overlook the fact that this piece is aimed at my age group; being a millennial means terms such as ‘shit got cray’ are straight out of my own vocabulary. Unfortunately for some of the older generations, I see this slang going straight over their head.
It is also worth noting that whilst the entire performance is engaging, the thrust stage means that more often than not, several actors are obscured from my view. Since the director chooses to keep the actors on stage at all times, even when some are outside and some inside, one’s focus is then split between two scenes, and this is a major source of distraction.
To be cynical about this play, it isn’t the most challenging piece from the Fringe this year. Many of the actors appear to play characters identical to their own true selves. It is a tame, yet genuinely thought-provoking performance which searches beneath the falsities of 21st century social interaction. In an age in which social media forces us to always present a one-dimensional version of our lives, this play is particularly poignant.
Original Post: http://edfringereview.com/r/V6MmIYwYRnqPz3AfXDx6yg