Paper Tom, 12:30, Hill St Theatre (**)
A slow episodic piece which is held together by the talent of Steven Rodgers. The rest of the cast need to inject something extra into their performance to make the difference between “just out of drama school” and “professional”. A story about soldiers, war and those they leave behind. The occasional moment fizzes with clever physical interpretation and uses of media to layer ideas in the space. It takes a while to get going and a while to end.
Alma Mater, various times, St George’s West (***)
A really nice idea with so much potential but underdeveloped. The 20-minute experience is passive site-specific theatre, which would have been made more memorable with more interactions. The blank canvas room tells of more than just a parent/child relationship; it speaks of how history lies layered in a room across the years, how emotions and memories are embedded in furniture and how every room speaks of its inhabitants.
Fresher the musical, 15:50, Pleasance Dome (***)
If you like musicals like ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’ and others which take a handful of characters found in a situation, all with different traits, who sing about their issues and play through inevitable scenes, then go and see this. It is incredibly well performed by the cast who bring “oomph” and “shizzle” to the characters, more than the writers gave them to work with. They nail each character’s quirks with imaginative realism. A thoroughly enjoyable performance-shame about the lack of storyline, plot and predictability.
AAA stand-up late, 23:00, Pleasance Courtyard (***)
Two comedians led by another comic attempt to make you laugh in this hour-long set. Some of the humour is perfectly pitched while some of it makes you either giggle or groan. Their topics, their quirks and their issues which they recall to us hold a considerable amount of humorous weight. Responding to their audience’s heckles and replies, the three men do have comedy potential; refining is required though.