Writer: Davey Anderson
Choreographer: Neil Bettles
Director: Neil Bettles
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
The Public Reviews Rating:
Dramatic, dynamic and suspenseful to the last, Davey Anderson’s The Static is a darkly comic coming of age play with more than a few twists and turns. Centred round 15-year-old Sparky, the play addresses his behavioural issues from an inability to sit still to supposed ADHD to auditory hallucinations and beyond. He is prescribed both Ritalin and meetings with the Behavioural Support teacher, Mrs Kelly – his last chance before he is permanently excluded from school – but nothing helps until he befriends Siouxsie and begins to fall under her spell.
With a magnificently designed set and supremely talented cast, Neil Bettles’ production is intense, funny and flawlessly choreographed. The stage is covered by a bank of lockers that are projected on, split and moved, with each individual one holding props and suggestions of place. In the several stylised sequences including an inspired daydream about a karate class, the cast move as if with one mind, synchronised in movement and purpose. Brian Vernal’s Sparky is keenly observed, infuriating and likeable in equal measure, Nick Rhys displays real strength in the role of Mr Murphy, both in physicality and character, leaving the audience unsure of his motives or intentions. Pauline Lockhart’s Mrs Kelly is a sympathetic character but also brings much of the comedy to the piece, showing her versatility, and likewise Samantha Foley shows great range as Siouxsie, convincing both Sparky and herself that the mind is the most powerful tool of all.
This is a staggeringly effective piece, both because of the phenomenal script and the superb staging, and the inventive manner used to tell this unusual story is often breathtaking. Marrying concepts of magic and obsession with the passion of young love this show is pitch perfect and guaranteed to knock your socks off.
Until 26th AugustEdinburgh Fringe: The Static – Underbelly,