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EDINBURGH 2017 - BWW Review: ALAN WE THINK YOU SHOULD GET A DOG, Pleasance Courtyard

EDINBURGH 2017 - BWW Review: ALAN WE THINK YOU SHOULD GET A DOG, Pleasance Courtyard

EDINBURGH 2017 - BWW Review: ALAN WE THINK YOU SHOULD GET A DOG, Pleasance CourtyardBunting decorates the stage and a cardboard sign reads "Happy Birthday". A family has gathered to celebrate Alan's 70th, if only he'd come downstairs. It's a birthday party that will never happen, as Alan isn't the man he used to be. Once a keen gardener, he is now confined to his bed and dependent on his family's care.

Mad Like Roar is an emerging RCSSD graduating company making its Edinburgh Fringe debut. Straightaway we are introduced to four distinctive characters, the first being the plant-obsessed Christian. He is married to the overwhelmed artist Daisy. Her brother Ollie is much more passive and immature, diminishing his care responsibilities, and the final character is Becca, played by Rachel Hosker.

Hosker has two monologues and delivers both with skill. Directing the dialogue to numerous imaginary people, she uses repetition to effectively communicate her personal struggle.

Flitting smoothly between playful and intense, the show does well to highlight the fragility of domestic relationships, and focuses on how the loss of communication can lead to family turmoil. Not only that, the dialogue provides a poignant insight into how a person can become overburdened with responsibility, resulting in their inevitable breakdown.

The cast is not afraid to explore on stage and give enough time for each line to be heard. Their impish approach is addictive to watch, and collaboratively they have created a show that is delicate, whilst also at the same time packs a real punch. The space is filled with energy as the performers' exuberance radiates through.

The plot leaves a lot for the audience to imagine, and this both acts as an aid and detriment to the piece. At times too much has happened in one scene that you are still trying to make sense of, whilst also attempting to take note of the current scene so as to not become lost.

Mad Like Roar's enthusiasm for their art is contagious, and Alan We Think You Should Get A Dog is a promising first offering. Certainly a company to look out for in the future.

Alan We Think You Should Get A Dog at Pleasance Courtyard until 28 August

Photo credit: Mad Like Roar

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