Fringe Review – The Waiting Game (rating: 5/5)
Fresh from a sold out run in New York, The Waiting Game is a game changer.
Written by Charles Gershman and directed by Nathan Wright this play enjoying its UK debut features the lives and loves of four gay men, and is a pared down production with a minimal set and lots of moveable props.
The plot revolves around the complicated lives of Paolo, Geoff, Tyler and Sam who is in a self-induced coma following an overdose. Dark material, but there are also elements of humour. Tyler played by Kellan Peavy is a comic foil to Paolo who dominates every scene.
The audience appreciate when he says: “I dreamt I was riding (this is so gay) a white horse decorated with sequins and we pulled up to this pink house which belongs to Cher.”
Of course this does play into clichés, but to a certain extent isn’t everyone a cliché?
This is “new theatre” with technological touches. A backdrop scene references the script in a wholly postmodern way and much like many of us, the main characters are attached to their digital devices. A sub-plot involves Paolo trying to figure out just who is at the other end of his G-Chat.
Essentially, this is a play about human frailty, the nature of love in these modern times, and getting to grips with loss and betrayal. Also it references the challenges of the working environments of finance, photography and creative writing.
It’s amazing how agile these four actors are in a limited space, and they pack enough drama into 60 minutes as if performing in a full-on Hollywood feature.
Ibsen Santos as Sam is stage right and communicates through signs and gestures – having no dialogue.
Joshua Bouchard as Geoff I believe is the moral centre of the story, and boy can he act. In fact they are all immensely impressive.
Paolo played by Marc Sinoway is the bad boy of the bunch but he finds redemption.
An evocative soundtrack features Fleetwood Mac and Madonna and the technical team should be lauded for that and the digital screens.
When off-scene the actors recline against a wall or sit among the audience in the front row.
The last scene is somewhat of a puzzle, an enigma which keeps one thinking, which I like. The tone changes completely and the players exit stage having given the audience a talking point on the way home.
A stunning piece of art.
The Waiting Game is at Greenside, 6 Infirmary Street until August 26 (no show August 20)