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None = Unmissable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme
Katie And Hugo Are Magic (Page 157).
Drams None required.
Venue Greyfriars Kirk House (Venue 28).
Address 86 Candlemaker Row.
Reviewer Lorraine McCann.
As football pundits so fond of saying, whenever the latest goal-scoring sensation erupts onto the scene: 'If you're good enough, you're old enough.' And so it goes with Nottingham's brand new teenage wonders, the Company Formerly Known As, and this zippy, satirical take on the potentially dire consequences of always trying to live up to the expectations of others.
Katie and Hugo have been married for six years. When we meet them, they are staying in a hotel during an arts festival, spending most of their time either out sampling the culture or in sampling each other. Like the vast majority of their fellow festival-goers, one of the first things they do each morning is to cast an eye over the reviews page . . . and that's when it all starts to get rather weird. For the couple's sex lives have somehow become public property, a performance to be picked over, evaluated and rated in the most personal terms. None of which would matter, of course, were it not for the fact that Hugo doesn't like what he's hearing and resolves to earn that five-star accolade at all costs . . .
Apart from the impressively mature performances of the very young cast, what really grabs the imagination here is the way writer, co-director and company co-founder Jenny Andrews shifts through steadily darkening moods via a series of ever-seamier vignettes, revealing the leeching away of a man's belief in his own happiness. The more Hugo buys into external validation, the more he suspects and fears Katie's lack of commitment. Chilling indeed.
Forceful, relevant and brimful of promise, CFKA are the sort of company who keep the Fringe honest. May their tribe increase!
© Lorraine McCann, 10 August 2005 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 13 August at 1320