Thursday, 23 August 2012

Porphyria at Edinburgh Fringe

Reg and his wife are busy career people, merely passing each other on their way to and from work, barely holding a conversation.
At night though, while his wife sleeps, Reg dreams of his perfect woman - one with time for dancing and romance. Imagine his surprise when the new au pair arrives and is just like her! Reg soon finds himself captivated by her and his life is turned upside down.


How do you pick out a play to see from the hundreds on offer during Edinburgh Festival time? Well, in this case I was 'sold' it by the actress playing Reg's wife while I waited in the queue at the half-price ticket office, hoping another play was on offer. What precisely caught my attention I'm not sure - maybe the fact of it being a 'proper' drama, not stand-up comedy or cabaret or one of the many strange permutations that can be found at Edinburgh Fringe. Porphyria is a short - 60 minutes or thereabouts - excellent piece written and performed by The New Theatre, a student run company from Nottingham University (and, yes, it is slightly odd that I travelled all the way to Edinburgh to see someone from 'down the road').
It was enjoyable, often funny, sometimes moving. The actors worked well together creating a believable three-way changing relationship. There are a lot of restrictions on time and space with Fringe productions and I particularly liked the synchronised choreographed way of moving props - making it part of the play rather than an intrusion.
The venue, Zoo Southside, was so intimate that it felt almost possible to reach out and touch the actors. There was no raised stage to separate actors from audience which surrounded them on three sides. Quite how the cast managed to ignore us and perform so well I don't know.
Well worth catching - and I'll look out for New Theatre again more locally.


Other Edinburgh Fringe 2012 reviews; Closer by Rush Theatre Company

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