A number

The Other Room are back with their new season LoveSick, the first under new Artistic Director, Dan Jones. First up in the season is Caryl Churchill’s, A Number, proving that the writing is as relevant today as it was when first written back in 2002.

A fast paced two hander, as the two men take to the centre of the room the air is tense, unsettled and withthe space set up in the traverse, an uncomfortable but intriguing game of back and forth ensues. We soon learn that the two are father and son, and it seems their history was not all as it seems as the lies unravel and the truth comes to light. After unfortunate events years ago, the father chooses for scientists to clone his son to give himself another shot at fatherhood. But it’s not just the one, there’s a number of them, unbeknown to either of them.

This play showcases The Other Room in yet another new light as once again the set and lighting design soar. Being able to see other audience members on the opposite side of the room adds a sense of unease as nobody wishes to catch another’s eye, as we shift from one character to the other, and back again. Fortunately the piece itself is no longer than an hour as any longer and those in the centre of the room would have cramp in their neck trying to keep up. This is mostly down to the fact that each actor is hugely watchable and Stevie Raines in particular was brilliant to watch as he switched between a ball of nerves, an edgier alternative and a relaxed, happy with banana ice cream version of himself.

An unsettling but hugely relevant and interesting production, as identity and personality are put under the microscope and intentions are queried, with possibilities trialled and tested. Well worth a watch in The Other Room this season!

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Edinburgh, you beauty!

That’s it, another fringe over for me, and although the magic and chaos may still be continuing up in beautiful Edinburgh, I’m back to work tomorrow and a major bout of the fringe blues have kicked in. Although I didn’t manage to spend the whole month up there, I did squeeze in over 20 shows around working the box office (because I’m basically a ninja…) Here’s a run down of my top five and some other highlights:

Key Change: Open Clasp Theatre. Northern Stage @ Summerhall.

An incredibly authentic and refreshing take on female prison life, put together brilliantly and portrayed by a first class set of performers. Moving, funny and a bit rough round the edges: Key Change powerfully sings out loud the voices of female prisoners stuck in the system. 

Every Brilliant Thing: Paines Plough. The Roundabout @ Summerhall

This show left me an emotional wreck, an incredible performance and moving narrative, which had the audience involved from their first seconds in their seats. An insightful and beautiful piece, highlighting depression and self awareness, and reminding us of the little wonderful things we’re surrounded by… Number 14: Bed

Party for One: Christina Bianco. Assembly George Square Gardens.

Hilarious. Christina Bianco is a genius, and despite being one of the first shows I saw, still makes me laugh hysterically when picturing a Ariana Grande song, sang in Julie Andrews voice… Spot on impressions, sung beautifully with a heart warming and relatable story to match. 

A Girl is a Half Formed Thing: Traverse Theatre. 

An intense and gripping performance, with a lot of grit and a lot of heart. I left the Traverse with my heart in my mouth and in awe of such an emotive and epic performance from Aoife Duffin.

Ross and Rachel. Assembly George Square Theatre. 

She’s his lobster, and Molly Vevers was completely on it in her portrayal of any couple which start off with their happy ever after planned for forever. Switching between both sides of the couple, a couple which are now seen as an item, the clever script is laced with references and full of emotion. 

I also loved The Solid life of Sugar Water at Pleasance Dome: a heartbreaking story, expertly handled, and Jenny say qua from Jenny Collier made me cackle with laughter at the Three Sisters. Echoes at the Gilded Balloon was a brave and insightful comparative piece and last years NSDF winners, Naughty Corner and their production of The Bastard Queen was gritty, funny and a brilliantly polished production. Shitfaced Shakespeare was hilarious as The Merchant of Venice took to the cheap prosecco and beer, and Man to Man was an epic performance from Maggie Bain, and well deserving of all the rave reviews. Our Teachers a Troll made for another fantastic, fun morning at the Paines Plough roundabout as audience members young and old cowered and laughed as one, whilst Flossy and Boo was a fabulous pick me up for a Monday, proper feel good fun for all the family! 

As always, I had an absolute ball and Edinburgh was full of magic, chaos  and the wonderful team that is the Space UK family. I would definitely recommend checking out any of the shows above if you’re lucky enough to be heading up to the Scottish capital or if these companies ever decide to tour!