Mikey and Addie, Summerhall, Fringe Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Red Bridge Arts
Andy Manley and Robert Alan Evans (creators), Robert Alan Evans (writer), Shona Reppe (designer), Andy Cannon (director), Danny Krass (sound designer), Fred Pommerehn (lighting design)

Andy Manley
Running time

Mikey and Addie first appeared in 2012 and was part of that year’s imaginate Festival (Read my review). Performed as a two-hander, it told the story of two very different children and their separate roads to truths that eventually converge to find a new way forward.

In this version, Andy Manley, who directed the 2012 version, takes on the role of a single active narrator of this coming of age tale for pre-teens. On the same set of various silver objects mounted on black stands, and to the strains of Bowie’s Star Man, Manley appears brylcreamed and bespectacled in sports jacket and short sleeved shirt like a low grade civil servant or an ‘70s woodwork teacher, his movements smoothly directed by Andy Cannon.

Manley’s animated face goes through the various characters while remaining the strong narrator of the story of Mikey, who believes his absent Dad is an astronaut, and of rule- bound, feet- on- the- ground school monitor Addie. The parallel paths of these two eventually come together through a series of connections that result in a new understanding and friendship.

The play, that holds shades of the Scottish film Dear Frankie, shows the power of imagination as a coping mechanism against dealing with life’s difficulties. His view of his Dad goes from the heights of his being a spaceman to the depths of his being a plumber with a new family.

Mikey’s shattered dreams as he learns the truth before becoming reconciled to it is reflected in Shona Reppe’s set that goes from silver to blandly transparent to colourful, all subtly enhanced by sound from Danny Krass and lighting from Fred Pommeren.

Manley magnetises with elite storytelling in this beautifully written piece by Robert Alan Evans in which the smallness and greatness of life are brought together creating a personal universe.

3-28 (not 10, 15 or 22) August, 11.25am age recommend 9 +