Pros: A dystopic vision of the current climate of terror.
Cons: The play veers off drastically from the creatives’ intentions.Clay Party’s debut play is set in a living room, where three millennials are about to celebrate the end of a state-mandated curfew. The background is pieced together through the emergency announcements sent via Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa, the occasional radio reports and some comments made by the three youths. Something really bad happened a while back – a ticketed event has ended in tragedy, bringing some big changes to everyone’s life. As a result, nobody has been allowed to go out at night for the last 19 months.
A few days earlier, Charlie (Charlie Suff) accidentally discovers that his girlfriend Rosie (Rosie Gray) is pregnant and has decided to propose to her during this memorable night. His flatmate Ed (Edward Stone) is supposed to help him creating the right atmosphere. However, when Rosie arrives, her behaviour is odd: she’s in a grumpy mood and rejects Charlie’s attentions, and is more interested in talking to Ed. Eventually, the couple starts arguing, and the odd friend out resorts to desperate measures to divert the conversation.
Meanwhile, the emergency announcements keep counting down to the end of the curfew. But while for the outside world the time of freedom approaches, inside the flat these three people are chained to their personal issues, unfulfilling relationships, poor mental health and unresolved traumas.
With this dystopic drama, actor and playwright Ed Stone’s declared intention was to portray the coercive effects of toxic masculinity, but his statement is contradicted by the way the character of Rosie is defined. She comes across as a selfish partner, who cuts her boyfriend out of decisions that should involve both of them, and continually makes demeaning remarks about his flat and career. Her persona lacks articulation, and her attitude is unpleasant.
Despite its promising introduction, this play, supported by Pleasance Futures, falls short of its aims and requires a brisk revision to reach its full potential.
Author: Edward Stone
Director: Josh Green
Producer: Clay Party, supported by Pleasance Futures
Box Office: 0131 556 6550
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/outside
Booking Until: 27 August 2018