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Abandon review at The Bussey Building Peckham

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Pure Fluke Theatre aims to “produce provocative comedies that playfully re-imagine classic texts,” and its latest effort, Abandon, superimposes the cruel world of internet dating on the themes in Dante Alighieri’s Inferno. At least it thinks it does. After sitting through the best part of two hours of clunky acting, poor delivery and pointless scenes, the only part of Dante’s masterpiece you will recognise is relentless hellishness.

Abandon’s biggest problem is that it doesn’t seem to know what story it wants to tell. We are promised “one hell of an internet dating story,” but finding love online plays no part in the plot which vaguely follows ditzy Aine (Fiona Cuskelly) as she falls for sleazy Clyde (Alex Kiffin). Instead we are fed the troublesome message that in relationships anything is forgiveable – as long as you treat your partner equally badly in return.

None of the countless characters are remotely likeable, let alone convincing, and Carrie Byrne and Cat Rosario’s script needs a serious edit. Director Natasha Markou does deserve credit for negotiating continuous scene changes, though, even if her cast couldn’t quite stretch to keeping a straight face on stage.

Internet dating may sometimes feel like the nine circles of hell. But you won’t find an insightful interpretation of that comparison here.

Production Information

The Bussey Building, Peckham, September 18-October 6

Authors
Carrie Byrne, Cat Rosario
Director
Natasha Markou
Producer
Pure Fluke Theatre
Cast includes
Carrie Byrne, Fiona Cuskelly, Alex Kiffin, Paul Christian Rogers, Jack Badley, Tara Newton-Wordsworth
Running time
1hr 40mins
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