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  • Writer's pictureZoë Combe

Plasters 4* (Edinburgh Fringe Review)

The Space Triplex - Jenner Theatre


In this extremely competent and complex piece of writing, our characters take us through the highs and lows of love and how we cope with moving on, loss and that familiar feeling of temptation and regression. I was so marvellously invested in the way the plot twists and turns unexpectedly and I was drawn even closer into the narrative as this choice in writing was so perfectly matched to the themes of the play.

"I was so marvellously invested in the way the plot twists and turns."

The story follows two actors who are still coming out the other side of what seems to have been a very unhappy relationship with one another. The layer of complexity comes in when we realise that these actors are starring in a production where they play, you guessed it, lovers in the middle of a somewhat unhappy relationship. We come to be unsure, then, whether we are watching the actors or the characters they are playing as the crosscutting becomes ever more frequent. And in the midst of this confusion and emotional drain on the actors, it does become clear that it is all too much for one of them, and the performance ends on a much melancholier note than that which it started on.

(Plasters - RJ)

This is intelligent theatre and requires a finesse that is not always present in new fringe writing. It also afforded a fantastic exploration of power dynamics to develop between the two characters, with the same clear winner emerging every time. Small tiffs masked what appeared to be a far greater tension lying beneath the surface of their relationship. The script may have been too overworked to maintain audience engagement all the way through however, and I felt some moments in the first half took so long to work through that I lost sight of intention and plot arch all together. That said, this was combatted by a much quicker paced second half.

"The actors established a believable intimacy from the outset."

The actors established a believable intimacy from the outset and expressed character depth and backstory with seemingly little effort. It’s a performance that, despite its complexity, appeals to the most core of human experiences, and in this sense, I was very impressed that the actors carried that through to the very end of this demanding play. Despite all the repulsion, all the toxicity, and all the pain, there is still love between these two people. And to build such a dynamic and real relationship as well as track its demise is something with which to be particularly impressed. This is play that I would like to see performed again and again, and I hope it's existance does not end at the 2021 Fringe.


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