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“Weak and wearisome”

The Debut scheme – a programme of four shows by first-time writers, jointly produced by BBC Arts and Avalon – is the oddity of the Fringe’s first week. Questions abound. Why have they gone for established names instead of emerging talent? Why was Bim Adewunmi’s play, Hoard, pulled at the last minute? Is Frank Skinner ever going to produce anything as good as Three Lions?

Thankfully, actress and comedian Katherine Parkinson’s contribution to the scheme isn’t as bad as Skinner’s. But it’s still not great. Three characters – Luke, Cassandra and Mary – sit on separate chairs in an artist’s studio and deliver monologues, as if to a watching artist.

It is really quite dull. Chunk after five-minute chunk of speech, sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, with no line threaded through any of it. Just morsel after disconnected morsel.

Until the end, that is, when some of it slots into place and you realise who these people are and how they’re connected. It’s not much of a payoff, though, for the hard work you have to put in to get there. The acting is fine, great even, and Sarah Bedi’s production makes the most of a stilted script, but this is a still-life of a show – sincerely tedious stuff.

Related to this Review

Frank Skinner and Katherine Parkinson to make playwriting debuts at Edinburgh FringeFrank Skinner and Katherine Parkinson to make playwriting debuts at Edinburgh Fringe

Production Details
Production nameSitting
VenueGilded Balloon
StartsAugust 1, 2018
EndsAugust 26, 2018
Running time1hr
AuthorKatherine Parkinson
DirectorSarah Bedi
Set designerSusannah Henry
Lighting designerSarah Mccolgan
Sound designerEd Lewis
CastGrace Hogg-Robinson, Hayley Jayne Standing, James Alexandrou
TechnicalRoxana Halls
Production managerPaul Brown
Stage managerRhys Thomas
ProducerAvalon, Bbc Arts, Bella Lamplough Shields, Imogen Smith
VerdictA weak and wearisome first play from actor and comedian Katherine Parkinson
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Fergus Morgan

Fergus Morgan

Fergus Morgan

Fergus Morgan

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