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Rupture review at Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh – ‘promising but underwritten’

Rupture at Underbelly Cowgate Rupture at Underbelly Cowgate

Set in a hermetically sealed society where unproductive citizens are euthanised to stave off starvation, Rupture is a promising but underwritten post-apocalyptic thriller-come-farce. After an endearing opening featuring synchronised funky dancing and some flawless lip synching, the energy dips sharply.

Karla Marie Sweet’s script takes in every trope going, borrowing beats from 1984, Logan’s Run and a good few episodes of Black Mirror, but never really building on them. “Got any more clichés up your sleeve?” enquires Shri Patel’s befuddled entry-level death warrant signer Jay as he learns the truth about his corrupt employers. The answer, it turns out, is yes.

Director Michal Keyamo keeps the cast circulating around the bare space, breaking up scenes with interludes of movement work, representing the virtual reality into which privileged characters can escape, an artificial paradise imagined as a violent, violet-hued video game.

Amongst some uneven performances, Kristin Duffy stands out as conflicted bureaucrat Ellis, struggling with her guilt but still choosing to support a broken system rather than face the alternative. Despite its unoriginality and unfinished feel, the show poses some relevant questions about the ways in which people can be complicit in their own oppression.

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Underwhelming dystopian yarn never reaches its potential