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Script in Hand
Published on Tuesday, 14 August 2012
4

4 stars

Summerhall (venue website)
Theatre
6-18 Aug, 5:30pm-6:20pm
Reviewed by Alice de Cent

 Recommended for age 14+ only.
 Free and unticketed. No pre-booking required.

In 1927 Paul Renner designed the Futura font. In 1969 it was chosen as the font for the inscription on the plaque left to mark the site of the first moon landing. In 1933 Renner was silenced by the Nazis, and this year the same is happening to Toby Williams, an actor cast as Renner in a play about his life. Script In Hand is the story of a play that does not exist.

I can’t discuss in detail the nature of Script In Hand’s innovations and playful references to theatre; that would be to give too much away. This is a creative piece, that deals with ideas of character and audience interaction, and brings some new life to the concept of a play within a play.

The use of space is exemplary. Summerhall’s Anatomy Lecture Theatre is perfect for the show and it is used to great effect, establishing the lecture format that is used in the sections where Toby tells his audience the story of Futura.

There are points where the narrative feels a little aimless, and more development might be in order for the audience to have full confidence that they don’t need to worry about where it’s all going. The use of video at the end of the show was particularly confusing for the audience, who didn’t quite know when the whole thing had ended.

But Script In Hand is a highly inventive piece. There are moments where the experiment doesn’t quite come off, yet the novel aspects of the show, and the playful fun it has at the expense of theatre, definitely outshine its weaknesses.

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