Burn

* * * *
4 stars

Theatre is a difficult medium to stage at the Fringe I always think. I am of the opinion that tried and tested favourites often don’t attract large audiences, new writing is often so hit and miss that it may be difficult to sell. Then there is the time slot to think about. Some plays work better at different time slots, but who wants to be up against big name comedy?

Second Skin Theatre have hit a double win with their production of Burn, as this play is new, written by cast member and co-founder Andy McQuade, yet with it’s inspiration being No Exit by Jean- Paul Satre somewhat familiar.

I have been an admirer of the work of McQuade, and fellow actors Nika Khitrova and Iaione Perez for a while having enjoyed their performances over the years when part of the Act Provocateur International company, always producing quality productions of edgy plays, always intense, never light weight and with excellent direction and performances and I am pleased to say that all this quality is still evident as Second Skin.

For those unaware of the concept, three characters all arrive ‘somewhere’ following their death but where are they? Is it Heaven? Unlikely, Hell? Possibly? Purgatory? Who knows?

McQuade plays Cliff, a pacifist a financier with dark secrets and many problems. Ms Khitrova plays Tatiana, I suppose you’d call her a Russian WAG also a tortured soul with a lot of flaws and Iaione Perez plays lesbian author Helena with as many issues as the other.

The character development is well defined as the three protagonists act and react with each other, sexual tension builds, competitive natures and vulnerability emerge  as the play moves to it’s conclusion and superb performances are delivered by all three talented actors. This play is well directed by Julia Stubbs & Timothy Hughes and a solid production team behind them this is certainly one show well worth catching it you can.

On the slight downside I feel this play would better sit in a later slot, and just occasionally noise spillage from the street and other spaces is a little distracting, not that it really impairs the enjoyment of a fine production.

Geoff

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