Stuck In A Rut

12.30-13.10, Bedlam 49

Rating ***

Michael and Finn are two young boys who, through the mediums of prose and physical theatre, take the audience into the world of a young man named Jack. To further understand Jack, Michael and Finn take us along to his various activities, from job applications to UCAS and online dating to long distance relationships. It as much a story about them and their friendship as it is about Jack himself.

The entire show was executed with military precision, the timing absolutely spot on for every single move and line delivered. Precision was paramount when the actors conversed with a pre-recorded voice issuing from an iPod. This was a very clever technique as the sound systems were wheeled around the stage to localise these voices, allowing for extra characters to enter the narrative without requiring a physical presence.

The choreography was stunning. Despite claiming not to be dancers, the boys move around the large space with grace and ease, tumbling and throwing each other across the room in an incredibly impressive manner. They transitioned into these sequences well, without them ever feeling stilted or out of place. However, despite this the physical theatre sections often obscured the plot quite heavily, leading to some confusion amongst the audience.

Rut is a well-rehearsed and excellently devised show and does many things incredibly well. However, I felt that these two young performers tried to do just that little bit too much. The storytelling elements about Jack – and Michael and Finn’s journey to understand him – were touching and often very funny when they were the central focus, but suffered from a lack of clarity at certain crucial moments.

At this stage in the Fringe when many companies are entering their third long and tiring week of performing, these two young boys are just starting out. They are vibrant and energetic performers, charismatic, and a real pleasure to watch in their first theatrical endeavour.


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