Mark Conway is nervously aggressive throughout Ballistic – it’s unnerving how he can flip his mood on a knife edge. Growing up, it is clear that the little things are sparking off latent undercurrents of violence. He can’t process emotions properly; he comes from a broken middle-class family; he has a childlike bluntness to his moods. Alex Packer’s script sets the scene beautifully in a production that warps jealousy into hate into rage. Anna Marsland’s direction is to subtly emphasise the little triggers that build up – this isn’t one incident that sets off Conway, it’s a slowly boiling pot that eventually simmers over.
Tag: Pleasance Courtyard
Even Tessa Coates has no idea what anthropology is about and she studied it for three years. But it has informed her latest show Primates – a startling reminder that we are not that different from our nearest genetic species. It’s an affable mix of physiology, psychology and comedy in an attempt to explain away our seemingly insane actions in relationships, mating and a fascination with procreation before it’s too late.
Buzz has a Legally Blonde flair, albeit with a more adult theme than going to law school to win back your man, before realising you’re better than him. Self-confidence and feminism are still the main messages to come out of the show, but it’s more a case of not needing man’s little friend when you’ve got your own bigger, battery operated version. Main protagonist Angie (Allie Munro) starts by getting dumped, ends by chucking ex-boyfriend Mark (George Lock) to the kerb in favour of her very own Anne Summers. It may sound cheesy – in many ways it is – but the feel-good, love yourself factor is what makes Buzz so pleasurable.
The young man (Adam Harley) is a no-fuss, no-frills kind of guy. He talks about teeth with a kind of pornographic obsession, talks about fingering yourself and shagging around in short, sharp sentences. There’s a manic glint in his eye and an uneasy atmosphere settles across the room. This is a man that may have a couple of screws loose, in a dangerous, could flip and cave your head in at any moment, kind of way.
As Lucy (Emma Bentley) grows up, she seems a somewhat unusual kid – keeps her head down in school, a little bit lonely but able to stand up for herself. What Goes On In Front Of Closed Doors highlights that it’s not all drug addicts or those in abusive relationships who end up on the streets. Sometimes you’ve just been dealt a bad hand. With an absent Dad and a recently deceased Mum, Lucy (Bentley) is barely an adult when she’s forced to face the harshness of the world alone. It’s too much to deal with.