City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

When We Ran, Pleasance Courtyard, Review

By Kenneth Scott - Posted on 10 August 2017

When We Ran - Patch of Blue Theatre
Show details
Patch of Blue in association with Greenwich Theatre
Running time: 
Alex Howarth (director / producer), Caroline McCaffrey, Katy Reynard (producers), Will Monks (lighting and video designer), Rachel Sampley (associate lighting designer), Alex Brain (set / costume designer), Mason Brother with the company (composers), Amelia Wall (videographer).
George Damms (Ela John), Alex Brain (Cyla), Lizzie Grace (Ela Martha), Alexandra Simonet (Ela Jane), Casey Jay Andrews (Mother), Tom Coliandris (Ela Frederick), Katy Reynard (Ela Catherine / Sapphira).

Twenty-one summers ago, their dad fell completely in love with their mum.

Since then things have changed, but sisters Ela Martha and Ela Jane have grown up within the seemingly utopian community of Ela with no need for the outside world. Their mother has left them in the trust of Ela John who shelters them from the world of the “out”, and they enjoy a simple agrarian life free even of notions like money. The community is not without its rules however, there is regimentation and curfew and the elders quash free thinking with directives to “drop your mind”.

When Ela Martha becomes ill they need to seek help in the external world and their eyes are opened and certainties shaken. Their discoveries threaten to push a wedge between the siblings as they try to find their place in this new, strange, expansive world of possibilities. It seems that there may be no going back.

One thing that might unite them is their longing to see their mother, but they will need the strength to run and to deal with the truth.

The devised story is told by Cyla, a footloose traveller working in the Roadhouse where they find shelter and come to terms with concepts of home, place and person. It’s accompanied, as usual for the company, with live music, but now incorporated more into the heart of the action. There are solid performances, particularly from the wide-eyed innocent sisters. While the company has evolved, the show fails to have the inventiveness and emotional connection or impact of its earlier award-winning work. Some of the mix of homespun and high-tech feels out of place and in general the story feel less momentous than intended.

It is a well told tale, but not quite utopian.

Show Times: 2 – 28 (not 14) August 2017 at 2.55 pm.

Tickets: £10 (£9) to £12 (£11).

Suitability: 12+