Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Open, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock
IN PERHAPS the ultimate act of taking the political temperature of the average bloke or woman on the street, Nottingham New Theatre went out and interviewed a bunch of them prior to the UK general election earlier this year, and then devised their thoughts and feelings clearly and precisely into a piece set in an average British fish and chip shop on the night of the election back in May. Rather than tying the words together into one overarching narrative, however, the performers present them here as bitty vignettes, following customers as they float in and out of the shop.
There’s much to admire about a process which is so nakedly political, and so admirably performed and presented too, although the piece certainly isn’t without its flaws. Discussing subjects like race and class, the piece leaves characters’ statements hanging once they’ve picked up their chips, not allowing the sense that a debate is building.
Instead, putting our faith in the fact that the process was as rigorous as the theatre company have said, we experience something which is more journalistic in quality, the strong cast reflecting the conversations for us. It’s a thoughtful and decent effort.
Zoo (Venue 124), run ended.
Published in The Scotsman on 29 August 2015
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