Tuesday, 30 August 2011

REVIEW: DarkChat (Edinburgh)

DarkChat Edinburgh, Edinburgh Fringe
You can see all of the DarkChat reviews here.

This year I have taken the decision to try and see more drama than usual. This has proved a master-stroke as " A Clockwork Orange", " The Dark Philosophers" and " The Ten Plagues" were all stunning in their different ways. So, despite, the inconvenience of rushing to the other end of town (St George's West) from our flat at an early (ish) start we were intrigued by what would follow. We were greeted by a member of the production team who handed over the envelope containing the script to today's actor, Pip Upton. Although he is known for his one-man shows on the fringe he looked naturally concerned about what he had let himself in for.

It was left to the playwright via the script to explain what we were about to witness. Nassim Soleimanpour wrote the play in Iran but as he refused to join up for National Service he was ineligible for a passport and couldn't travel. However, he was determined to be part of the performance and requested (and was granted) that a seat was left vacant for him. Similarly, he arranged for the audience to number themselves and get involved. It was up to me to announce the full date and frankly after six days here I was struggling to remember my name but somehow I got through. I was more fortunate than others who came on stage to impersonate the rabbits of the title.

The crux of the piece revolves around the possibility of the actor drinking a glass of poison, unlikely but as we were ushered out of the theatre by another member of the audience you could have heard a pin drop. Since there has been no mention of Mr Upton's demise in the Scotsman I assume he survived. This is an outstandingly riveting and disconcerting play. It does make you realise how much we take our freedom for granted, yet conversely it shows how small the world is nowadays. We were all encouraged to contact Nassim by email or Facebook (assuming he is still alive) to let him know how the show went. This is the kind of show you can only really see at Edinburgh. GO!

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