Friday, 4 August 2017

Movin' Too Fast? The Unmarried, The Bunker Theatre now Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Underbelly, Med Quad)

This review should be in rhyme; I should be in reciting it on the dancefloor of Fabric, iambic prose accompanied by vocals and beat-boxing and the kind of punch-drunk slinky electronica that the kids at the turn of the century used to hop to.

Oh, Lauren Gauge you are so fleet of thought and foot and the life you imagine to frighten the twenty-something Luna had already risen up to bite me around the time of acid house… Old school rave, to you youngsters, helped me after my first attempt at growing up proved too much… there was still time to get back out and find a future more fitted. Here it's garage music which for us older groovers slipped in between techno, jungle and dubstep, grime and UK funky!

So it is then that lovers, dancers and homeowners of all ages will find something in this play that reminds them of them: it’s never too late to open your eyes and this vital blend of contrapuntal energies holds a mirror directly to the audience’s faces.

Luna likes to dance, she likes a good time and that includes the trimmings of drinking and The Pull… endless hours of dancefloor flirting, fake and f'real... with deliberate avoidance of the ties of relationship. She successfully avoids commitment until a no-consequences, one-night stand ends badly when she realises she knows the bloke.  “Fun-Fuck Pete” turns out to be un-put-downable Peter and he wins her over even though her friends had warned her he might be too… intense: Permanent Pete?

Georgia Bliss, Lauren and Haydn-sky Bauzon bring it. Photos The Other Richard
Sure enough, things do get serious as this “husband material” charms her, much to the disgust of Luna’s Greek Chorus of beatboxing Haydn-sky Bauzon and vocalist Georgia Bliss, the two immersing the verse in music subverse… well, they’re very, bloody, good, demonstrating exceptional musicality in support of Lauren’s words and actions.

Luna and Pete enjoy the single life together for a while, although the attempt at an open relationship fails when he proves too faithful; Luna is forever doing the very things she worries about her Peter doing. She’s more uncertain of her self than him and soon they are in such a routine that even their post-binge bathroom handovers are in sync.

Working life takes over and the years of being a daytime “corporate clown” and a night-time creative follow the post-graduate deception of trying to work “a system that’s not for us but we hope can support us…” But the spark begins to fade with Luna wondering  “what is love without the lust, all bite and no crust…?” Exactly mate!
Soon they are expecting… keys. They have hit the bottom rung of the property ladder and now have a property that brings stifling levels of responsibility and stale-mate. They’re too busy to be involved with each other like they used to.

“I’m strong and stable, Peter’s willing and unable…” sums it up but what is to become of these indebted young professionals? Will Luna see it out or can she summon up some of her old resilience?

The answers may well be on the dancefloor…

Lauren and a flower. Photo from The Other Richard
Lauren Gauge’s play is stacked high with concentrated dramatic energy, fuelled by the skill of her writing and performance.  This is not a confrontation but a heart-to-heart as Luna talks to the audience from the get-go and makes us all complicit in her narrative as our feet tap and half-remembered beats twitch the muscle memories.

It’s an incredibly honest performance and one, as I said at the top, that will resonate with many. We have mostly all been there and done that… life and how it should be lived!

Haydn-sky Bauzon and vocalist Georgia Bliss are with Lauren throughout and they make for a genre-busting, cloudburst of hi-energy, originality - you don't find theatre this fresh very often. You won't find a show that just pumps such joyous positivity either.

Lauren Gauge. Pic from Tim Stubbs
The Unmarried is presented by Lauren Gauge and LWL Entertainment Ltd who have such a diverse range in their choice of production from Sid Vicious to silent film star William Haines, Cuban noir and the exhilaration of The Life – please someone give that one a West End transfer! The Tailor Made Man too!

The full production of The Unmarried is at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Underbelly, Med Quad) from 2nd – 28th August 2017. It is, without doubt, going to be one of the hottest tickets in town. GO SEE IT! Book now in fact for it's later than you think... enjoy yourself.

Ithankyou Rating: ★★★★★

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