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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012 - Theatre Reviews 7


Statements After Arrest Under the Immorality Act – Assembly Hall – 3 
stars
As shocking as it seems in the twenty-first century global village, 
marriage between races is still illegal in some countries. Athol 
Fugard’s apartheid era play that forms part of Assembly’s South African 
season of work may date from 1972, but its depiction of state control 
of the most intimate acts remains timely, and could apply as much to 
the recent outcry regarding same sex marriages as the situation Fugard 
depicts.

A white woman lies naked in bed with a black man, sharing private 
moments that go beyond sex. If it weren’t for the shadowy figure 
sitting in a wheelchair in the corner, this could be scene from some 
multi-cultural Eden. As it is, such a liaison is a risk to both their 
lives.

While even the idea of an immorality act sounds like something from a 
dystopian fiction, the full horror of such an invasion of human liberty 
never quite hits home in Kim Kerfoot’s production for the Theatre Arts 
Admin Collective. As intense an experience as a show lit solely by 
torches which double up as intrusive camera flashes is, and as 
impassioned as the exchanges between Bo Peterson and Malefane Mosuhli 
as the lovers remains, it never quite transcends the play’s specific 
backdrop to have the electric charge required.  Until August 27th.

Chapel Street – Underbelly – 3 stars
Having it large on a Friday night is all a boy and girl making their 
way in the world can hope for in Luke Barnes’ new play, which forms 
part of the Underbelly’s Old Vic New Voices strand. Over a very big 
weekend the pair start off on very separate back street booze cruise, 
but end up on a grotesque collision course that may or may not have 
been a good night, but will end up as more pub banter material anyway.

Told via a relentless pair of criss-crossing monologues, Barnes’ 
thrill-seekers grab microphones in Cheryl Gallacher’s production for 
the young Scrawl company. This makes for mile-a-minute grab-bag of 
stand-up theatre that maps out a no-hope generation’s last-gasp letting 
off of steam in lieu of anything resembling hope or aspiration.

Young people may have been doing this for years, but there’s a 
motor-mouthed verve in Barnes’ tumble of words, especially as delivered 
here with such confident swagger by Cary Crankson and Ria Zmitrowicz. 
With only a traffic cone strewn shopping trolley doubling up as flash 
limousines and dodgy mini-cabs, Barnes is suggesting it’s okay to be 
young and foolish, but, judging by the ease with which the pair move on 
the morning after, happiness is very much elsewhere. Until August 26th.

Glory Dazed – Underbelly – 3 stars
War, in Cat Jones play that forms part of the Underbelly’s Old Vic New 
Voices season, is just one big old pub fight. Or so says Ray, the ex 
squaddie on the run from a prison sentence and seeking refuge in his 
spit and sawdust Doncaster local. Here his estranged Carla, bar-man 
Simon and rookie bar-maid Leanne attempt to pacify Ray, the embodiment 
of disenfranchised working class machismo, and who the system he serves 
has effectively failed him.

Developed with ex-servicemen prisoners by Second Shot Productions, Elle 
While’s Jones’ play gives voice to a largely misunderstood underclass 
in a production of considerable power overseen by director Elle While. 
The quartet of performances are thoroughly believable, despite some 
over-writing. Only the ending undermines everything that went before 
with a sentimental quasi-reconciliation that turns things into 
melodrama with a fudge too far. Until August 26th.

A Real Man’s Guide To Sainthood – Underbelly – 3 stars
Patriots and nationalists from all countries take note. Gold medals may 
abound for Team GB at London 2012, but as the inventive About Milk 
company make clear, heroes will always let you down. St George himself 
is revealed as a mixed-up kid who society forces to be a tough guy. 

Here a quartet of waxed-moustache sporting gentlemen and a solitary 
lady toughen young George up with excursions into morris dancing, heavy 
drinking and bare-chested flag-waving, all to kill a dragon.
But what if, like weapons of mass destruction, the Islamist threat on 
freedom and a thousand and one other red herrings, the dragon doesn’t 
exist? Male pride clearly comes before a fall in this playful 
dissection of male grooming involving songs, bicycles and make-believe 
Chariots of Fire style triumphalism.

Beyond such fripperies, there is a serious point to director Lucy 
Skilbeck and About Milk’s inventive take on historical myths, that 
looks to the reasons why there are more male suicides being recorded in 
the UK than ever before. The sucker punch of such a playfully 
well-honed delivery gives much food for thought in a piece of work that 
itself puts the boot into the man’s world it occupies. Until August 
26th.

The Herald, August 15th 2012

ends

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