Sob Story

August 10, 2018 | By | Reply More

★★★☆☆       Uneasy combination

TheSpace on the Mile (Venue 39): Sun 5–Sat 25 Aug 2018
Review by Hugh Simpson

A talented cast and bags of commitment manage to paper over the obvious cracks in Sob Story, by Pretty Knickers and New Celts at TheSpace on the Mile.

A story of six old school friends who are eager to win Yorkshire’s Got Talent but do not have the necessary ‘sob story’ to wow the judges, Calum Ferguson and Lewis Lauder’s play lurches awkwardly from comic to serious.

Sob Story Pretty Knickes EdFringe 2018 Lana Pheutan, Claire Docherty, Niamh Kinane, Becky Niven, Mhairi McCall, Sarah Dingwall. Pic Iain Davie

Lana Pheutan, Claire Docherty, Niamh Kinane, Becky Niven, Mhairi McCall, Sarah Dingwall. Pic Iain Davie

Starting out as a satire of the desire for a ‘journey’ beloved of reality TV contestants, it moves into a dissection of bullying, and then to something else entirely.

Such transitions are smoothed over to a great extent by the efforts of the cast. It is difficult enough to pull off a convincing singing routine; even more tricky is to make it go wrong convincingly, which is handled with aplomb here.



Lana Pheutan’s put-upon Aimee benefits from excellent comic timing, which helps to make the character’s sudden leaps believable.

Mhairi McCall’s controlling Sophie and Niamh Kinane’s wannabe diva Olivia are thoroughly credible characterisations, while Sarah Dingwall copes elegantly with a stereotypically ditzy blonde character.

pacy

Claire Docherty’s troubled Grace and Becky Niven’s Rosie, eager to leave for university and the outside world but drawn back, are also fine performances. Indeed, all of the cast conceal the fact that the characters are seriously underwritten – there is no real reason for there to be six of them rather than five, or four, or eight.

Sob Story Pretty Knickes EdFringe 2018 Lana Pheutan, Becky Niven, Niamh Kinane, Mhairi McCall, Sarah Dingwall. Pic Iain Davie

Lana Pheutan, Becky Niven, Niamh Kinane, Mhairi McCall, Sarah Dingwall. Pic: Iain Davie

Donna Soto-Morettini’s direction is pacy enough to disguise the fact that the play is severely lacking in internal logic.

The characters talk of a talent show contestant’s need to have a USP. Not only does this play not have one, it struggles to have its own identity, being at least two disparate ideas sewn together unconvincingly.

However, the energy of the performances make you largely forget about that, for which the company deserves great credit.

Running time 50 minutes (no interval)
TheSpace on the Mile (Venue 39), 80 High St, EH1 1TH
Sunday 5 – Saturday 25 August 2018 (odd dates only)
Odd dates only at 4.00 pm
Book tickets on the Fringe website: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/sob-story

Facebook: @prettyknickersproductions
Twitter: @pretty_knickers

ENDS

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