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Auld Acquaintance - Brighton Fringe review 2014 by Sophie Turton

Auld Acquaintance, Company: Audley + Co Productions
Venue: The Dukebox Theatre, Category: Theatre
24 May 17:00 11, £8 (£6) [1hr 10mins]

Auld Acquaintance is an astutely well-written black comedy that explores the tenuous nature of inter-family relationships - identity, loyalty, abandonment, romance, love and death form the chorus line of this five-man play.

The play is a dance of intimacy through which the complexity of the character’s relationships is effectively spun. It is Christmas but there is little cause for cheer as two brothers and their wives are forced to spend the festive period together in the house of their dying mother. Their relationships are unsteady and as such the wives are pushed closer together. The tension between them builds throughout the 70 minute performance to finally explode, as all great things should, in a kiss.

It is the dialogue that makes this play, which has already been shortlisted for the Pebble Trust Award. The characters have good chemistry, although at times it feels slightly over-acted, which I’m not quite sure was intentional. None-the-less, the over-dramatic nature of Immie Elway makes her brother-in-law, Rob Elway’s, perfectly timed retorts even more amusing.

Warren Saunders, who plays Rob, is fantastic. His character certainly has some of the best lines in the play but his dry, sarcastic take on this older brother role is what really makes Auld Acquaintance stand out as a truly impressive piece of theatre.

Audley & co., the newly established production company behind the performance, are certainly ones to watch. Their next play, ‘Tis Pity, will be running between 1st and 16th August and is a modern take on Ford’s 17th century tragedy. If it has any of the wit, energy and insight that Auld Acquaintance has, I have no doubt it too will be a huge success.

Sophie Turton - follow on Twitter @TurtonSophie

Auld Acquaintance

Auld Acquaintance

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