Komedia Roman Eagle Lodge, Edinburgh
August, 2002

*** Intriguing, semi-abstract post-student two-hander

Two mismatched women share a flat. The vamp tries to seduce the ice-queen, who is obsessed with a strange screen on the wall.

Writer Tom Bowtell gained a bizarrely memorable accolade on last year's Fringe, when one reviewer said he "has the courage to be odd". This year's play is a more disciplined and thoughtful, less hit-and-miss affair, but doesn't rise much above the level of "interesting".

It plays a bit with theatrical conventions: the vampish flatmate addresses the audience directly, assuring us that we all want her even though we may deny it; her partner (neither has a name) denies that there's anything beyond the "fourth wall" then begins to speak to us anyway, as the balance of power and confidence shifts between them. The catalyst for the events portrayed is a strange screen on which slowly flowing abstract shapes are projected, and which seems to speak to one of the women but not the other, until it "dies".

It's a curious and always intriguing piece, but it's one of those plays that couldn't really exist outside the fringe, and specifically outside a certain post-student level of fringe theatre. However, when Bowtell breaks through into a bigger pool, he'll be well worth watching.

Written for divento.com

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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