Saturday, June 15

Haribo Wedding -Traverse Theatre

Established in 2009, Edinburgh’s Strange Town Youth Theatre has developed into something of an institution for theatrical experimentation in the City and is known for pushing the boundaries of what young people are capable of. Tonight is the turn of Thursday 14 – 18 group to strut their stuff, in the third outing of Strange Town in as many days, and it is good to recognise some already familiar faces on stage.

The stage is set within the three-sided intimacy of the subterranean Traverse 2.  On stage is a tableau of a wedding party, complete with the recognisable bride and groom, best man and bridesmaids, set like statues, or perhaps caught momentarily on camera, fixed in time. But as the lights drop and the action starts it is clear that this is no ordinary wedding, this is a fake ‘Haribo wedding’, complete with edible wedding ring, an excuse to eat sugary sweets and fizzy drinks or more likely something much stronger later.

To strains of ‘Going To the Chapel’, we find that the young people are coming to the end of High School and this could be one of the last times that they are all together having fun, a coming-of-age celebration in the ruins of St Anthony’s Chapel on Arthurs Seat.

Best man, Adam, played by Corin Wake is an absolute hoot in a fearless physical performance, flouncing around the stage with great comic timing and all the best lines that has the audience howling with laughter.

So far so good.

Unfortunately, the production then takes some (sugary sweet induced?) weird turns when by the power of St. Anthony the wedding party are transported back to their younger selves, for reasons which are not at all obvious. Apart from the obvious continuity issue that none of the young selves look like the old selves, this just looks and feels like a wrong turn by writer Andy Edwards and director Bradley Cannon in what was shaping up to be an interesting play.

In the spirit of the experimental nature of this youth theatre production, my opinion here is more of a summary, rather than a critical artistic review. Likewise, I have not allocated a star rating to this piece.

Whilst not perfect it was still great to see the young people on stage doing something they clearly love. They all now need a much needed rest, to come back stronger and more experienced and more confident next time, and I look forward to seeing their next production.

Reviewer: Greg Holstead

Reviewed: 17th June 2023