Monday, September 26

Fiji – Pleasance Upstairs at the Pleasance Courtyard

After reading the press release, this is one of those plays that you walk-in to the theatre, not knowing what to expect. Co-written by Eddie Loodmer-Elliott, Pedro Leandro and Evan Lordan, the inspiration of the play (scarily), came from real-life events.

Omnibus Theatre have joined forces with Clay Party and Conflicted Theatre to produce an alarming, disturbing play that revolves around the theme of cannibalism. For most of us, (hopefully), this will be a subject that does not feature in your daily life, and one wonders what inspired this delving into the culinary skills of a cannibal.

The play begins with Sam (Sam Henderson) arriving at Nick’s place (Eddie Loodmer-Elliott) with his suitcase. Sam is nervous and it becomes clear that Sam and Nick have never met before but have chatted online. Gradually, as the story unfolds, the weirdness of the situation becomes clearer, and centres around Nick’s interest in cooking which has a leaning towards, shall we call it – the exotic!

Sam and Nick are keen to build upon their relationship over the weekend, and they play the ‘odd questions game,’ where both answer a series of thirty-six questions, to assist in helping them to become better acquainted. The theme of cannibalism aside, the play examines human vulnerability when faced with death. Sam is nervous, but this situation is of his own making, and bizarrely, he wants to connect with the person who will end his life. Nick is not your average killer, to the outside world he appears normal, but his motivation for killing, is the most disturbing part of the play.

It would have been easy to get carried away with an overly dramatic version of this play, but the writers have kept the character’s feet on the ground and allowed the viewer to get to know them. Instead of being a slapstick caper, this two-hander is an interesting exploration into the reasoning behind why these two individuals would want to go ahead with something so unusual. Director Evan Lorcan has not allowed the acting to be overplayed, and the characters are believable, which adds to the uneasiness. I would not hesitate to recommend this play, go along and see it before it leaves Edinburgh!

This play runs until the 29th August at the Pleasance Upstairs at the Pleasance Courtyard. To book tickets go to – https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/fiji

Reviewer: Caroline Worswick

Reviewed: 12th August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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