Writer: Lucy Kaufman
Reviewer: Selwyn Knight
The Public Reviews Rating:
The Big Bite Size Breakfast Show certainly offers value for money: each day they offer a menu of short but complete plays on a common theme. There are three menus on offer, so one could go three times and see no fewer than fourteen plays, together with some musical accompaniment too. Menu 1, “Vintage 1940s”, four plays linked by that decade and all well performed and thought provoking. The best of the four plays were Vintage and Farewell to Arms, although all four stand up well to scrutiny.
First up saw Scott Virgo and Elise Fabris in Vintage as a 21st Century couple who have chosen to live their lives in the 1940s style. Beginning with the clothing and music, they have become more obsessed with historical accuracy. Eventually it all goes too far and they seek help with their faltering relationship. Their clipped Queen’s English is perfectly rendered and they are curiously believable as the couple torn by their adherence to rules many of us couldn’t understand.
This was followed by Farewell to Arms, in which Cassandra Hodges recounts her life being courted and married. Her husband is called up and we see how she tries to cope when he returns having been seriously wounded. This one hander worked well as Hodges showed the quiet desperation and “Keep Calm and Carry On” mentality at the time.
In Perfidia, Virgo and Fabris return as two strangers thrown together in an air raid shelter, with, perhaps, inevitable results. Their chalk and cheese personas are well drawn and their verbal fencing is realistic and believable.
Finally, Eve Kagan appeared in Sex Bomb, the appropriately titled memoir of Hedy Lamarr, the quite remarkable actress who was “the most beautiful woman in the world” as well as being mathematically gifted and helping to revolutionise weapons systems.
Between each piece, we were treated to a short musical interlude as the stage was reset, mostly featuring Bill Knowelden. These were atmospheric, but don’t really add to the whole.
All this, and you get coffee, croissants and strawberries. Well worth the early start.
Runs until 26 AugustEdinburgh Fringe: The Big Bite Size Breakfast Show - Pleasance Dome,