Exeter, Devon UK • May 21, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Arts & Lit Exeter at Edinburgh Fringe

Exeter at Edinburgh Fringe

Isabella Maunder discusses her experience of and thoughts regarding Edinburgh Festival Fringe this past August.
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Image: Brad Fergie via Wikimedia Commons

Edinburgh’s streets were once again plunged into the creative buzz of Fringe as performers and audience members alike gathered from all over the globe for this momentous event in the performance calendar. Among these performers were some of Exeter’s theatre companies, including EUTCO, Theatre with Teeth, and Shotgun.

EUTCO’s rendition of David MacGregor’s Vino Veritas had greatly changed from their original Exeter run resulting in a more minimalistic set design and cut script, with many lines overlapping to save time. In particular, the use of overlapping lines could have backfired, feeling messy or distracting, but instead, this element worked to create a more realistic portrayal of the couples’ interactions and disputes. Overall, these editing elements only worked in their favour as the team presented a witty, poignant, and entertaining performance. The four actors – Poppy Hill (Claire), Alice Robinson (Riley), Oscar Chandler (Phil), and Amy Kennedy (Lauren) – worked as a brilliant ensemble, bringing an enigmatic energy as they bounced off one another and allowed the performance to flow from beginning to end. Though a few audience members who had seen their Exeter run missed the famous ‘cock, sack and balls’ line, the cast made up for it with their comedic timing which evoked loud eruptions of laughter from start to finish and resulted in many sold-out shows.

The team presented a witty, poignant, and entertaining performance

While most leave the Fringe wishing they could have fit in three more performances, the shows I did watch lived up to the great reputation this arts festival is renowned for. Top watches included the unexpectedly emotional and beautiful “Bill’s 44th” which took puppetry to a new level of innovation and ended up being one of the most human and expressive pieces of theatre many of us saw at Fringe this year. Equally moving was “Did you eat?”, performed by the fantastic Zoë Kim, but fair warning – as with “Bills 44th” – you will need plenty of tissues (though for very different reasons). Though a slow start to begin with and a very ‘drama school’ or alternative feeling, the performance quickly spiralled into a harrowing, raw, and incredible piece of theatre, where the lead explores her past experiences. Specifically, a complex relationship with her mother is depicted, emphasising the importance of love language; the fantastic acting left many audiences shaken and impressed with the performers’ stamina and emotional candidness.

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