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Impact, Pleasance This, August 2018- press image 5

Impact, Pleasance Courtyard (This) – Review

Pros: The final twist is pretty clever.

Cons: This show didn’t stand up to its name and made very little impact on me.

Pros: The final twist is pretty clever. Cons: This show didn't stand up to its name and made very little impact on me. The narrator of this drama is smartly dressed and has distinct manners. When he walks in, he puts his briefcase on the floor behind his chair, and invites us to pick some envelopes from a rack. These contain victim impact statements, talking about the aftermath of a big tragedy: loss, grief, and the inability to forgive. Then the narrator starts telling his story of how one day, during his morning commute, another man in the train grabbed his…

Summary

Rating

Good

An intriguing plot is let down by a performer too cheerful for his character.

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The narrator of this drama is smartly dressed and has distinct manners. When he walks in, he puts his briefcase on the floor behind his chair, and invites us to pick some envelopes from a rack. These contain victim impact statements, talking about the aftermath of a big tragedy: loss, grief, and the inability to forgive.

Then the narrator starts telling his story of how one day, during his morning commute, another man in the train grabbed his attention for a reason that, at that time, wasn’t clear. We never get to know their names, but we learn that our narrator was eventually invited to join an environmental action group.

As his account unfolds, we realise he has a manipulative mind and, with his fine understanding of internal politics, he manages to carve for himself a privileged position within his tribe. With a disturbing grin on his face, he discloses the details of his actions like a motivational speaker at a congress who wants to share his amazing story of success.

Is this a story of success, then? In a way, yes. This is a gripping cliff-hanger plot, which is shaken at the last minute by a big upset, with the audience left to pick up the pieces of a psychotic ego. It’s an unsettling portrayal of how radicalisation can reach the core of a group without any of its members really appreciating it, until it’s too late to stop the initial course of action.

I’d have wanted actor Richard Henderson to look more devious and less smiley, and give more psychological depth to a man whose mind is a lot more troubled than his appearance might suggest. In this instance, he just looks a bit too cheerful for what he’s about to reveal.

Written and Directed By: Jonathon Carr
Producer: Fever Dream Theatre
Box Office: 0131 556 6550
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/impact
Booking Until: 27 August 2018

About Marianna Meloni

Marianna Meloni
Marianna, being Italian, has an opinion on just about everything and believes that anything deserves an honest review. Her dream has always been to become an arts critic and, after collecting a few degrees, she realised that it was easier to start writing in a foreign language than finding a job in her home country. In the UK, she tried the route of grown-up employment but soon understood that the arts and live events are highly addictive.