Pros: Fast-paced, vibrant and exceptionally informative.
Cons: None I can think of.
If there was an award for the theatrical work that best sums up the explosive energy and unconditional enthusiasm of youth that all too often fades with age, Propeller would be a prime candidate. Its subject is all the more important when so very little of the mainstream theatrical offering is currently aimed at the 16-25 age group, an issue that many deem responsible for the scarce number of teens that regularly engage with the performing arts. No wonder the younger generations are resentful.
An eight-strong cast, selected from amongst this year’s graduates of the Scottish Drama Training Network, perform a devised piece inspired by the Levenmouth Rail Campaign, for the reopening of the five-mile stretch between the above-mentioned urban development and the rest of the region. First started in the early 2000s, the petition came to a halt in 2014, when the Scottish Transport Minister categorically excluded a reopening of the line.
Born and raised in the imaginary town of Loch Havenport, the group of friends are fed up with all the complaints about the local situation and decide to take action in the hope of bringing opportunities to a region that was badly hit by the miners’ crisis in the 80s. The reopening of the railway, with a direct link to Edinburgh, seems the most promising option and the youngsters launch the “Bring Lochie Back on Track” campaign, aimed at gaining the support of the other residents and the attention of the local MSP.
Pounding music and physical interludes alternate with the unfolding of their adventure, which is charged with socio-political commentary. Homelessness and Living Wage standards are addressed with plain but compelling thoughts, highlighting the difference between the community-maker and the idle moaner.
With the freshness of their youth and the material support offered by the Pleasance Futures scheme, The Network Ensemble creates an inspiring and thought-provoking performance. A lesson on how to take a pressing local issue and shape it into a theatrical masterpiece.
Devised by: The company
Director: Caitlin Skinner
Producer: The Network and Pleasance Theatre Trust
Booking Until: 27 August 2018
Box Office: 0131 556 6550
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/propeller