‘Utterly compelling’: THE APPROACH – Edinburgh Fringe

In Edinburgh Festival, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Scotland by Rev StanLeave a Comment

Rainy Hall at Assembly (Venue 35), Edinburgh
Until 27 August 2018

You feel like you are eavesdropping on a conversation at the table next to you – it is utterly compelling and its resonance lingers long after you’ve left the theatre.

Three women, only ever in pairs, meet in a Dublin cafe for a coffee and a catch-up – not the most magnetic sounding set up on paper but Mark O’Rowe’s play The Approach is slowly gripping. Cora (Cathy Belton), Anna (Aisling O’Sullivan) and her sister Denise (Derbhle Crotty) are all friends or least they were really close once.

The years pass all too quickly, things happen – life happens – and now they don’t see as much of each other. When each pair meets their conversations start with everyday anodyne chit-chat but soon turn to more deeper personal topics such as relationships.

You have to listen carefully for clues as to how much time has passed between meetings – usually marked by relationship statuses. A particular romantic gesture is a recurring motif and a signifier that something isn’t quite straight in what the women are saying.

Perspectives and attitudes towards certain events and relationships change over the conversations but is it mistaken recollection, faded memory, a desire to change the past or honesty? Despite chat of love and friendship, there is an undercurrent of yearning, loneliness and acceptance. A desire to appear happy and content at least.

O’Rowe’s script beautifully captures the naturalness of everyday speech, the performances nuanced and equally natural – no dramatics or stalking the stage here.

And this is the power of this play, you feel like you are eavesdropping on a conversation at the table next to you – it is utterly compelling and its resonance lingers long after you’ve left the theatre.

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Rev Stan
Revstan really is a reverend (it's amazing what you can buy on the internet) but not a man (the Stan bit is a long story). By day, she is a freelance editor and copywriter; at night, she escapes into the world of theatre and has been blogging about it at theatre.revstan.com since 2007. She says: “I'll watch pretty much anything, from something performed on a stage the size of a tea tray to the West End and beyond. The only exception is musicals. Tried 'em and they just don't do anything positive for me.”
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Rev Stan on FacebookRev Stan on InstagramRev Stan on RssRev Stan on Twitter
Rev Stan
Revstan really is a reverend (it's amazing what you can buy on the internet) but not a man (the Stan bit is a long story). By day, she is a freelance editor and copywriter; at night, she escapes into the world of theatre and has been blogging about it at theatre.revstan.com since 2007. She says: “I'll watch pretty much anything, from something performed on a stage the size of a tea tray to the West End and beyond. The only exception is musicals. Tried 'em and they just don't do anything positive for me.”

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