Theatre review: Births, Deaths & Marriages
Theatre review: Births, Deaths & Marriages

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Births, Deaths & Marriages, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ “Four young people. One long night”, reads the opening credits to this multimedia production,which is stylistically slick but borders on soap opera in content. Births, Deaths & Marriages delivers its title’s promise: a teenager worrying about his girlfriend’s unplanned …

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Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Births, Deaths & Marriages, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett.

★★★

“Four young people. One long night”, reads the opening credits to this multimedia production,which is stylistically slick but borders on soap opera in content.

Births, Deaths & Marriages delivers its title’s promise: a teenager worrying about his girlfriend’s unplanned pregnancy, a young man contemplating suicide on the railway tracks, and a possible bride-to-be considering her boyfriend’s drunken proposal make up the disparate but occasionally interlinking chapters of this consciously state-of-a-generation urban drama.

The four performers bring a captivating energy to the play, alternating between inhabiting the angst-ridden 20-something characters, narrating from an outsiders’ perspective and providing a backing soundscape of city dwellers and bus announcements. The fragmented narrative sections are more affecting than the properly “acted” bits though, which comes off as a little over the top.

Rob Salmon’s inventive direction begins beautifully, illustrating the live narration with projected film footage of a deserted cityscape, controlled by the actors onstage.

This crisply simple conceit becomes confused by a few too many directorial flourishes though, which fail to lift the piece beyond an aesthetically pleasing take on well-worn story-lines.

Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) until 31 August / listings

Published in The Scotsman on 22 August 2015

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