Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Desperate Measures: Below the Breadline, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Susan Mansfield
Twentysomethings working in London are not the first demographic to spring to mind at the phrase “below the breadline”. But, as this play reminds us, trying to find your way in the world is much harder than it once was. These young people are barely holding it together financially, working as volunteers or unpaid interns, relying on McJobs and handouts from their parents. In the midst of this, they are trying to hold on to their dreams, have their first adult relationships, work out who they are.
In this thoughtful and creative piece of theatre, devised by the cast with director Samuel Lane, disparate stories are woven together around the central image of the London Underground. The cast, many of whom are students from Guildford School of Acting, develop remarkably complex characters in a short space of time, in highly recognisable situations.
Many of these situations are difficult to resolve, which feels at odds with the overly impassioned message voiced by the play about “living the life you want to live”. Given the conflicting demands many of these characters face, the trick seems to be to make tough decisions well, rather than finding an easy way to follow your dreams.
C Cubed (Venue 50), Until 15 August, 5:40pm / listings
Follow our Edinburgh Festival coverage
• Follow our social accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
• Get everything on our Festivals homepage – on desktop, mobile or tablet
• Join the conversation with the hashtags #WOWfest and #WOWwagon
• Watch all the latest videos