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  • Writer's pictureZoë Combe

Pool (No Water) 5* (Edinburgh Fringe Review)

The Space Triplex - Jenner Theatre. 3:10pm

New Celts Productions and Oddly Ordinary Theatre Company

Know before you go: Heavy use of the C word. Just all-round graphic content.

Oddly Ordinary Theatre Company has hit the ground running with their first production that forces us to strip naked and ask how we react under extreme circumstances, as well as to what extent we can find beauty and art in suffering.

Expect all the jarring force of ‘in-yer-face’ theatre in this slick production of Ravenhill’s Pool (No Water) that pitches friend against friend while confronting envy, betrayal, egocentrism, and how far we can be pushed in the name of art. Three bohemians grapple with these concepts after a horrendous incident leaves the fourth member of their group hospitalised and unconscious.

"Expertly synchronised physical theatre is coupled with live sound design and intelligent use of lighting."

Expertly synchronised physical theatre is coupled with live sound design and intelligent use of lighting, all of which compile to construct various different environments such as the euphoria and paranoia of heavy drug use. The set design was simple yet versatile and the difficulty of creating a character who is never actually seen on stage (the hospitalised one) was confidently managed through a combination of impersonation, puppetry, and object theatre. This so-called ‘friend’ achieved the success that our three characters never managed to; she was both out of their reach and out of sight, yet was somehow able to possess them and speak through them, wonderfully conveying their jumbled mix of envy and admiration.

(Pool (No Water), Oddly Ordinary Theatre Company)

I was particularly impressed by the injection of comedy into this notoriously dark and twisted play, and the cast’s ability to get us to laugh within the opening sequence of their performance made the introduction of much darker topics far more juxtaposed. After all, how could we really judge them for taking it too far if just moments before we’d been laughing along with them?

I look forward to seeing what else this theatre company produces and urge a visit to this show but consider yourself warned as it’s not one for the faint-hearted.


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