|My Best Friend Drowned in a Swimming Pool|
|Published on Friday, 19 August 2011|
Meet the attractive yet dysfunctional teenagers whose best friend has – well, you can guess the rest. It is written by and stars Eva O'Connor, and is performed by her theatre company Sunday's Child. O'Connor's skill as a playwright is indisputable; she is just 20 years old but her dialogue is smart, funny and confident.
The actors are well cast and not short of charisma. As Ells, O'Connor's expression is deliciously sour, and her dry, dark wit is delivered in a wonderful Irish accent. Ribbles MacRea gets all the funniest bits as gay, Catholic Liam, and Adian Heald, as deceased best friend Henry, manages to be smug and nervous at the same time in an annoying but accurate depiction of a middle-class adolescence.
The writing crackles with talent but the plot is slight. There are too many scenes were the kids get wrecked beneath flashing lights, to something like Underworld's Born Slippy. This turns things a little too Skins – The Musical, and only O'Connor's balletic grace stops the dance-angst from grating.
This tale of teenagers drinking, having sex and feeling confused is one we've seen before, and despite the addition of religion to the traditional self-cure of drugs and booze, its scope remains limited. While this one is not original enough to be great, O'Connor's next play should be. So long as it's set after the kids have left home.
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FROM OUR ARCHIVES
These are archived reviews of shows from the Edinburgh Fringe 2011. We keep our archives online as a courtesy to those we've featured, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.