‘Rainbow’ a piece of new writing, written and directed by Emily Jenkins, it tells the story of three independent characters; Russ (Oliver Ashworth) whose job is to beat people up, Martin (James Hender) a dissatisfied, lonely old teacher, and Tom (Kyle Treslove) a bullied and misunderstood school kid. Throughout the play you see how these three solid and very different character’s lives are linked to one other. Think of the style of the film ‘Crash’, but in a theatrical setting. The play is 1 hour 25 minutes of monologues; the three actors in turn speak their inner thoughts to the audience on three individual platforms.
The brave style of the play and the unembellished staging is a testament to the writing and directing by Jenkins, and the skill of the actors. Not once did I find myself board of listening to the actors, they held the audiences attention so well, just through performing the monologues in an engaging way with a variety of rhythms and dynamics for each character. The vivid, expressive nature of the script and the actor’s individual performances allowed me to easily imagine what they spoke about, and gave me the ability to transport my mind out of the studio, and to the fictional worlds of the characters. ‘Suzie’ the sister of Tom, and student of Martin’s, whom he essentially takes advantage of and begins an affair with, is so well described that this non present character is almost as visible in my imagination as the three characters on stage.
This is a cleverly written piece where the presentations of the character’s inner thoughts enable the audience to become empathetic and accepting of their ‘wrong doings’, making you reassess your ordinary preconceptions of people. The plot unravels in an interesting and unpredictable manner and keeps the audience hooked throughout. My only point of confusion was to the character or Russ and the identification of the person he is made to beat up, but the other links in his plot and strongly developed characterisation made me forgive this small misunderstanding. This is a strong piece of theatre and is something I believe keeps the Edinburgh Fringe exciting: a new play that breaks normal theatrical conventions using an unexpected and quirky style to brilliant effect.