Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"Finished With Engines" - Edinburgh Fringe 2008

"Finished With Engines" at The Traverse, with its Arches pedigree, sounds interesting - two American sailors, watching from a safe distance the disintegration of a less developed country, whilst coming to terms with who they are and why they ("they" being both them personally and them as representatives of their nation) are there. And it's also a comedy. Maybe it was because the last show in a long day, but my reaction was more incredulity than interest.
The action takes place in a number of short scenes during which time is clearly passing. And clearly from the programme the 10 scenes between the two protagonists Megan (Stephanie Viola) and Hemingway (Drew Friedman) are meant to reflect the progress of the wider conflict they are witnessing somewhat dispassionately on the shore. I didn't get that from the play itself - I'm glad the programme explained that because I would have missed it otherwise.

In an hour a lot is touched on, and you do get to see some of what's behind the initially shallow Megan who's cynically clear in who she is and what they're doing there and the revelation of this to the naive wannabe writer Hemingway. Unfortunately for me the ludicrousness of some of the scenes just turned me off - including the construction and eating of an impressive tuna and tomato multi-decker sandwich.

Their most emotional response is when their favourite shore-side bar is destroyed. For me it was the fact that the Traverse bar was still open when it finished.

Finished With Engines runs at The Traverse (various times) until 10th August.

1 Heckle

claire said...

I agree. Disinterested was my overall response!

I can't believe you were there too. The great thing about going to the theatre alone (and maybe the previews are friendlier) is the amount of random conversations you get into. But it seems crazy to ask people if they blog - just on the off chance!