Laugh Out Loud (Cry Quietly)

August 14, 2018 | By | 1 Reply More

★★★☆☆     Fresh breeze

The Royal Scots Club (Venue 241): Mon 13 –Sat 18 Aug 2018
Review by Hugh Simpson

Laugh Out Loud (Cry Quietly), by Arkle at the Royal Scots Club, is a sparky confection lacking profundity but full of energy.

Stacie Lents’s portrayal of a series of New Yorkers searching for love via the internet strains hard to capture the zeitgeist – albeit the zeitgeist of a few years ago. The various overlapping stories come across as more of a series of sketches featuring recognisable ‘types’ and, while discharged with considerable energy, they rarely achieve coherence.

Arkle Theatre Company, EdFringe 2018 Laugh Out Lout (Cry Quietly). Andy Nicholls, Catriona Bone, Laura Jimenez, Steven Croall, Jana Huysentruyt, Abigail Sinclair, Jenny Tamplin, Bronagh Findlay, Emily Nash and Colin Povey. PicL Arkle Theatre Company

Andy Nicholls, Catriona Bone, Laura Jimenez, Steven Croall, Jana Huysentruyt, Abigail Sinclair, Jenny Tamplin, Bronagh Findlay, Emily Nash and Colin Povey. PicL Arkle Theatre Company

The portrait of a generation at the point where they first start to live their lives entirely through their phones is interesting, if not necessarily inherently dramatic. The device of having people say things like ‘OMFG WTF exclamation point exclamation point smiley face’ out loud is amusing at first, but quickly begins to pall.

What can definitely be said is that director Jana Doughty injects so much pace into the production that it fairly breezes along. John Weitzen and the rest of the technical team must be congratulated for their work on a script that has a seemingly endless parade of short scenes and a daunting amount of light and sound cues.


This breakneck speed does rather come at the expense of involvement with the story. The overlapping narratives feature a succession of characters, with most of the cast doubling up. Unfortunately, it is not always sufficiently easy to remember which character is which; by the time you have fully worked it out, they have switched back again.

Perhaps this is intended to show the essentially interchangeable nature of people who are looking for love, but the end result is more confusion than anything else.

engaging performances

Luckily, it is perfectly possible to be swept along by what is a collection of engaging performances. Bronagh Finlay and Steven Croall display a snappy, properly self-obsessed poise, while Laura Jimenez and Abigail Sinclair portray more insecure characters – Jimenez with humour and Sinclair with considerable pathos.

Jana Huysentruyt, Colin Povey and Andy Nicholls add interest to underwritten parts, while Jenny Tamplin is expansively brash. Catriona Bone and Emily Nash are more successful than most at differentiating their two characters.

The play seems to be struggling so hard to give everyone something to relate to that it ends up being fluffy and lightweight. Nevertheless, there is enough chutzpah in this production to make it attractive.

Running time 1 hour 40 minutes (no interval)
The Royal Scots Club (Venue 241), 29-31 Abercromby Place, EH3 6QE
Monday 13 – Saturday 18 August 2018
Daily at 6.15pm.
Tickets and details: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/laugh-out-loud-cry-quietly
Company website: www.arkletheatre.co.uk
CompanyFacebook: @Arkle-Theatre-Company-90472754009

Arkle’s late evening show at the same venue is You Remind Me Of You. Read Hugh’s review here: ★★★★☆ You’re welcome.

ENDS

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  1. You Remind Me Of You : All Edinburgh Theatre.com | August 15, 2018

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