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Published on Sunday, 14 August 2011

2 stars

theSpace on Niddry St (venue website)
8-13 Aug, 12:50pm-1:40pm; 15-18 Aug, 1:50pm-2:40pm
Reviewed by Carmel Doohan

 Recommended for age 16+ only.

Student shows are hard to review. It's a bit like tasting uncooked cake mixture and being asked what you think. There were moments when this piece came together; when the actors found and delivered the few bits of wit hidden within the script, it was lovely. You could feel the happiness in these new and aspiring actors – their excited joy of being on stage and it working.

Everyman, an office worker, for some reason needs to find someone to take with him to heaven. We meet death, the angels and the office tart as a host of archetypes parade through a tangled and unclear plot, trying to be funny. There are some very likeable people on stage, many with a nice sense of comic timing, but insensitive casting and an average script makes them hard to engage with.

There are a few things that work – choreographed marching instead of walking sharpens things up, and the musical numbers are well performed – but like a bad BBC sitcom, this writing suffers from its lack of ambition for itself and its audience. Stereotyped characters, cheap laughs and reductive attempts at political topicality create too many cringes.

This cast seem in desperate of need of more rehearsal time, and more precise direction. Given this and a decent script – one with characters to be acted rather than just lines to be said – they could return next year with the potential to impress.

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