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(J) 1 out of 172
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Rating Guide
None = Unmissable

= Unwatchable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme



The Jumble Sale (page 144)
Drams Full glassFull glass
Venue C Central (Venue 54)
Address Carlton Hotel, North Bridge
Reviewer Lorraine McCann

There's a lot of business in The Jumble Sale. Teacups to rattle and boxes to slit open, jumpers to fold and brick and brac to sort. What there's a bit less of is drama. And although the actors bring a good deal of conviction to their roles, they're entangled in a script that seems unsure about its tone.

The set-up is pretty conventional: old schoolfriends are drawn together again via 'Friends Reconnected' only to discover they were never really friends - and not really connected either. In an instant, they find themselves sloughing off the veneer of adulthood and giving vent to the same old power trips, envy and self-flagellation that scarred their teenage years. Sylvia, a timid Mavis Riley type, is still trying to wedge herself in between Rose and her (off-stage) best pal, Veronica. Rose is still ruthlessly exploiting Sylvia's desire to fit in. Only now, with the class of '61 no more than a faded photo, it seems fate is at last about to deal Sylvia a few good cards.

It's not that The Jumble Sale is a bad play. At times, when she reaches beyond a soapy, naturalistic style, Cat Muir's writing is clearly capable of lyricism. It's just that she doesn't sustain the mood, opting instead for melodrama. Still, if you remember Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected with fondness, you'll find it right up your street. There's real fake blood, too!
© Lorraine McCann, 1 August 2003 - Published on www.EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 24 August at 18.30.
Company More Tea? Productions.

(J) 1 out of 172
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