Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
August, 2002

*** Solid but unspectacular play about war as a news commodity

Unlimited Theatre have promise, but are an example of the Edinburgh Fringe phenomenon: a company too lauded, too soon to develop naturally.

The company's Fringe First awards in 2000 and 2001 have led to an engagement at the Traverse this year, where it becomes apparent that Unlimited are not quite up to the standard of their neighbour shows and companies, not yet.

Chris Thorpe's tale tells of a celebrated war photographer who has allowed his images to become marketed, and who for all his denials has himself bought into ideas of importance and celebrity. It makes a number of trenchant points, but few original ones. It is for the most part performed more than competently (though with the major annoying exception of Louisa Ashley's smirking journalist), but never catches fire. The staging is awkward, with shifts of furniture between scenes hobbling dramatic flow and awkward, self-conscious use of a mock-proscenium arch on which scene-setting captions are projected.

Thorpe writes both thoughtfully and feelingly, but both 2000's Static and this piece indicate that thought and feeling alone aren't enough to get him and the company as far into their subjects as they want to go.

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Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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