Writer: Emily Jenkins
Director: Emily Jenkins
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
The Public Reviews Rating:
Wonderfully written and directed by Emily Jenkins, Rainbow interweaves the stories of three men who are linked together through a range of characters we never see. Russ, small-time thug and big-time lover of Radio Four, relates the story of a job he has done and his realisation that he is ready to change his profession. Meanwhile, Martin, a teacher and self-confessed singleton, looks for love in the wrong places and tries to recapture his youth in the process. Last but not least there is loner Tom, whose unconventional behaviour coupled with a troubled home life make him a vulnerable target.
The individual monologues are thoughtfully and carefully constructed so as to create an entire world for the play without any of the three leaving his performance space or addressing the other characters. Only the audience is spoken to, acting as an intermediary for the action and being made complicit in each of the men’s mistakes. All are faced with choices that, for various reasons, they are ill-equipped to make and which have far-reaching consequences. Oliver Ashworth’s Russ is particularly engaging and enjoyable to watch, with his contradictory personality traits played for all their horror and humour. Kyle Treslove also gives an affecting performance as Tom, and James Hender’s Martin is both affable and odious.
Rainbow relies heavily on references to the film The Matrix, mentioning it many times. Although there’s nothing wrong with a nod to popular culture, it is the one thing that will date the piece in the future and it might have been nice for Jenkins to have found another way to encapsulate the concept of choice between two realities. That, however, is a very small gripe and does not detract from this persuasively-penned piece which is well-acted throughout.
Until 27th AugustEdinburgh Fringe: Rainbow – Zoo Southside,
Tags: 2012, David Hutchinson, Edinburgh Fringe, Emily Jenkins, James Hender, Kyle Treslove, New Writing, Oliver Ashworth, Phillip Rowntree, Rainbow, Sell-a-Door Theatre Company, Theatre, Zoo Southside