I saw three plays today. As I left the last one at around 10pm, I realised that they had all been performed in exactly the same space*, a black box studio with a capacity of 50 people or so. They contended with the same noisy intrusions from the outside world, had the same limited time to get in and out of the space and all had a run time of under an hour. Outside of these parameters, these shows were completely different in terms of content, emotion and success. Today was the perfect day at the Fringe.
*In reality not quite, but the difference between theatre 2 and theatre 3 in Surgeon's Hall is minimal.
Part 2 - Cream Tea and Incest (that's the title!)
'How did you sleep? Yes.'
I imagine when one takes amphetamines that it is a very tiring experience. I would think that at some point a crash occurs and the user falls into a deep sleep. During this period of unconscious bliss it is not difficult to image that dreams take place. Cream Tea and Incest was obviously the result of one of these amphetamine addled dreams.
This is an intelligently silly play. It contains slapstick, silly faces, ridiculous premises, some biting satire and a ream of quotable one liners. I. Loved. It.
The premise was quite unimportant, but involves a bunch of PG Wodehouse style characters hatching strange and sinister plots. However, I could have watched the actors read the instructions from a packet of paracetamol and still been entertained. They poured every ounce of their energy into creating a number of ridiculous characters, switching effortlessly between each of them in turn. The comedy was highly choreographed and perfectly timed, sending the audience into uproarious laughter from start to finish. Even if you had not enjoyed the play (which I think might be legally impossible) you had to marvel at their commitment and skill. They knew what they wanted to say and how they wanted to say it. Sometimes they even said it in credible Northern Irish accents, a rare thing among (presumably) actors not from that beautiful province.
Moreover, their performance was complemented by a number of simple yet clever and stylish props, all made from cardboard. Being able to move all your props in out and out of your venue in a flatpack container is a functional solution to the difficulties of Fringe venues. They filled the space and made it their own. I have rarely laughed so much at a Fringe show.
The show gets three birds: gannet, splendid fairywren, shoebill (what am I talking about?). It was an all round great show, was hugely entertaining, and splendidly weird. Well done.
How did you sleep? Yes. Me too!