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Review: Crash and Burns: A New Comedy at Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose - Ed Fringe

Review by Lucy Holz

Crash and Burns: A New Comedy takes place during a post graduation evening of Burns Night celebrations among uni friends. Six young people gather for what seems like the last time before they all move on with their lives and away from the friendships they’ve formed.

Starring Aishling Jones as Katie, the hostess for the evening, this play follows the feverish interplay between friends whose lives are completely intertwined. There are breakups, makeups, touching moments of reconnection and a whole lot of yelling. It’s an action packed performance which is engaging from start to finish.

A fiercely Scottish story, as an Australian many references went completely over my head. However it is testament to the play that the story remained clear regardless, and the occasional missed joke by me didn’t impact my experience.

Most of the action takes place inside what is presumably a share house, with some scenes occurring on the front step. Set design by Anna Hayward accurately depicts the ramshackle interior of student living with statement pieces creating clear delineation of space. With constant chopping and changing of scenes, this set provides much needed structure.

A rotating multicoloured door is the highlight of this set design, perfectly clarifying the indoor versus outdoor scenes, and interacted with easily by the actors. Lighting design by Becky Spiers partners beautifully with the set, with a series of spots directing audience gaze effectively.

Sound design also by Spiers complements the action without overpowering the dialogue, the ideal balance for a play of this nature.

Written by Amy Yeo in a sitcom style, a laugh track would not be out of place in this show. Each character and relationship is meticulously crafted, creating an easily digestible storyline and recognisable archetypes.

This is accompanied by a wonderful costume design which perfectly captures the personality of each character and often plays an integral part of the storyline.

Standout performers include Clara Wessely as the quirky Louisa and James Miles-Boyd as an exasperated James. Wessely delivers her one liners with conviction and well timed comedy, while Miles-Boyd grounds the heightened action in reality.

Direction by Hannah Rogerson is clear but at times non-nuanced, making key moments less believable. A well-rounded story with plenty of storylines to hold audience attention, delivery can become one note at times, with a constant stream of yelling. The witty quips and one liners are clever but sometimes lost in a frenzy of shouted conversation.

Regardless, this show accurately captures the complexities of post graduation feelings and the many ways of dealing with an identity crisis. Resonant with anyone who has watched their relationships shift as priorities change, this show is a true crowd pleaser and one to add to your must see list this Edinburgh Fringe.

Image Supplied


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