Imperial Fizz

Three Stars


From the play’s beginning there is a sense of discord. An elegant middle aged couple appear. He is dressed in a dinner suit but on closer observation it is oddly tarnished as is his shirt. He is mixing cocktails from a well stocked drinks trolley. The woman is in an elegant ball gown, checking her appearance as if to go out or to entertain guests. The main prop is an old fashioned radio which does give a time reference.

From their accents the couple are American. Their conversation is fast paced as they fire words at each other in a game of language jousting and witty word twisting. They are like two fleet-footed flyweight boxers standing toe to toe but instead of delivering physical blows they aim to score with verbal hits. The unreality deepens as the radio, without being touched, plays different forms of music. When it is dance music, they come together and dance with ease. Tension develops when periodically from above, a deep and loud jarring sound can be heard.

As the play unfolds, we are witnessing a couple trying to give meaning to their lives together. Curiously, they don’t reveal their names. Throughout, they consume large quantities of alcohol which is an enthusiasm they both share

The two principals, Issy van Randwyck and David Calvitto, perform brilliantly in what is a very demanding script. However, I am not sure if the play will have universal appeal. It does take a few minutes to adjust to the rapid dialogue and a fair amount of concentration to keep up with the flow of words in a surreal situation. However, it does strike me that crossword addicts could derive pleasure in the playing with language.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number – Assembly @ George Street; V3

Dates – 5 to 30 August 2010 (not 17, 24)

Times – 17.25 to 18.40

Fringe Programme Page Number: 261

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