Lights, no camera but action...
By charlie ranken, Jun 1 2018 01:03PM
This week, I discovered for the first time, Plymouth Fringe. As a parent, you have to time 'get out passes,' as you dont want to use them up in one go, so I made sure I chose a evening where I could see as much as I could without it being a logistical nightmare.
First port of call was The Lab at the Theatre Royal, which I have only actually been in as a Assistant Director and therefore, only knew the way in through stage door. I didnt go this way, I thought it might look strange and I knew I would just get lost again. It was a double bill, starting with Fynn Roberts and then continuing on to 'Audition.' I then crossed the road to Radiant, where I watched unTamed theatre, Running Out. I knew how to get into this one, no problems there.
All three were monologues, all three had humour and all three had moments of seriousness. Fynn Roberts challenged me and made me work at times, to differentiate between his jokes and his outcries for help through humour. At times, I wasn't sure of the appropriate response to his circumstances. He was joking, it was funny but the message underneath was hard not to miss. Go and see this in the future if you can. There is one joke that sinks in at different times throughout the audience. This in its self is a marvellous thing to watch.
All three were male actors, all three wore relevantly the same, all three were around the same age. 'Audition' has a great concept, man stuck inbetween reality and unconsciousness. We, as audience members, were therefore, not really real to him, a figment of his imagination. I felt disconnected though, he was stuck with us, us with him but I wasn't in his journey. I wanted him to use all the space not just the front, I wanted him to move us around, change the room, he can do what he wants, we are in his dream. Ask us questions, help us, help him. I think 'Audition,' was enaging but I wanted more.
I was entirely absorbed in Running Out. I was on the journey, imagining the layout of rooms, vases and meadows. Jake has an ability to 'pause' life and although, as I did, you might think you've seen a number of films about time in many different ways, I really enjoyed this piece. I had a smile on my face the whole time! Well, when appropriate. It was small scale enough to be involved and the concept was large enough to be interesting. The plot was curious and you are gently lead through Jake's emotions of possessing this gift/burden which results in a dilemma which even I was trying to work out ways of solving and I was just sitting in a chair, watching.
Fringe Festival, next year, you never know I might use two evening 'get out passes.' If this year was anything to go by, it will be worth it.