Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
The Public Reviews Rating:
XXXO is quite likely to make you cry. Not because it’s moving, far from it, and not because of the raw onion that pervades the space having been inexplicably chopped up on stage. This will make you cry with sheer frustration, or perhaps because you are incensed at having spent an unrewarding fifty minutes watching it. A collage of other people’s work, rehashed and uncomfortably thrown together by the performers, XXXO is supposed to show two girls desperate to feel something, but ultimately is just uninteresting and poorly staged.
At times the piece is just dull – for several minutes at the beginning we watch the players scroll through pictures of their own blotchy faces, red from supposed tears. At other moments the mocking tone used and lack of any kind of genuine sentiment or emotional maturity in the young performers make it borderline offensive. We are led through a mish-mash of film clips and scripted scenes from TV and movies, each recounted with the same hysterical level of crying, devoid of any connection or craft. Echoing the characters on screen the performers trivialise the tragedies the audience can see, a tactic that is particularly distasteful when one of the accounts is that of a 9/11 victim.
Fundamentally, this production is lazy. There is not one original thought that has made it to the stage, and – although it feels like a mercy – the piece is ten minutes shorter than billed, and entirely self indulgent. As is often the case with pieces comprising solely of concept and with no actual message, it is ill-conceived and had the majority of the audience making for the exit at their earliest convenience. The creators of this work clearly believe they are producing something terribly meaningful, but it succeeds in being little more than a waste of everybody’s time.
Until 26th AugustEdinburgh Fringe: XXXO – Pleasance Courtyard,