Theatre review: Between
Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: Between at theSpace @ Surgeon’s Hall (Venue 53), reviewed by David Pollock
“Quitting smoking is easy,” says one of the two young men onstage, “I’ve done it lots of times.” This South African piece from playwright and actor Oskar Brown started out as a student show and it has developed into something really sure of itself, a meditation on the point where a relationship can break down in the face of addiction to the adrenaline buzz of discovering something new.
Brown and Nicholas Campbell tell their tales with interlocking stories: a flashback to teenage years of experimentation while all the while decrying their gayness, as teen boys are supposedly meant to do, and the actor of the pair’s attempts to unlock Romeo and Juliet’s allusions to temptation in the Garden of Eden.
Between has been something of a sell-out success this Fringe, although initial interest is softened by the sight of an all-male, presumably gay, audience, the fact the leads are young and handsome, and the fact that every scene change is signalled by their swapping of shirts to assume a new character. There’s also one full-frontal scene, which has undoubtedly helped contribute to a moneyspinner for the company this August.
These decisions all at once give the piece added credentials for its frankness and bravery, but also detract somewhat from the deeper subtleties of it, about the unspoken meanings and gestures of both love and acting, where everyone wants their audience “to be so overwhelmed by the honesty of my words that they’re attracted to me”.
Originally published in The Scotsman