Midsummer, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Tuesday 11 August 2009
Only in Edinburgh might you find a rom-com which has ditties about the worst hangover in the world, a mist-wreathed Ikea car-park and a night of Japanese rope bondage gone wrong. For all that, though, Midsummer, "a play with songs" written by David Greig and Gordon McIntyre from the indie band Ballboy, remains desperately romantic.
Bob and Helena are lost souls, staring their mid-thirties in the face. He is a petty piss-artist, flailing around the outer reaches of Edinburgh's criminal underworld; she is a divorce lawyer, stuck in a dead-end affair with a married man. When the two meet on Midsummer's Eve, there begins a picaresque journey through the streets, with plenty of sex, a Tesco bag full of cash and soul-searching along the way.
Greig's production, which opened last Autumn, has thankfully been revived for Fringe-goers. Rightfully too, as it's a celebration not just of midsummer madness but of Edinburgh itself. A joyous romp, part Richard Curtis, part Irvine Welsh, Greig revels in his story-telling, reeling the audience in and leading it down blind alleys.
Cora Bissett and Matthew Pidgeon are utterly convincing as the two losers-turned-lovers, both cast in the finest tradition of soulful Scottish balladeers. It's a pleasure to spend an evening in their company.
To 30 August (0131-228 1404)
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