Sunday, August 16, 2009

"Certain Dark Things" - Edinburgh Fringe 2009

After the success of last year's "How it Ended", You Need Me have returned to Edinburgh with a new tale of sexual and cultural repression set in the Basque region between 1959 and 1971. It's a stunningly beautiful piece of theatre where movement, singing, music and soundscape are exquisitely combined. Sooner or later the company are going to come up with a show that will absolutely blow people away and will be THE piece of theatre that Edinburgh is talking about. But I don't think it will be this year - not quite.

For despite the powerful performances from the cast the story itself is a bit of a let down - if you strip away the Basque setting we'd seen it all before. I know I wasn't alone in my thoughts, as while waiting for the second half to begin another audience member commented that it felt like a soap opera dressed up as something more. And frustratingly what is used as a final 'reveal' would seem to me a much more intriguing focus for the piece as a whole.

Nevertheless, this is a must see show for those who like their theatre to come with an artistic flair that is so often lacking at the Fringe. Put any doubts over the plot to one side and just enjoy the theatrical magic being woven before you. Despite its flaws this will be one of my highlights from this year's Fringe and You Need Me will be the first company I look for in next year's programme.

Certain Dark Things runs at Underbelly until 30th August (no performance on Monday 17th).
Image used with permission

1 Heckle

Interval Drinks said...

Yes, I agree. It was beautifully executed but the narrative could have been a little more coherent and the mini-interval rather broke the mood. The cast were all excellent though.