Well, if I have learnt nothing this festival, it is that " Square Go" is a Scottish term for a fight. And that is basically the plot for
"Square Go". Max has inadvertently insulted the bully and despite not being the most well-built youth you have ever encountered
he is preparing to go head to head with his Neanderthal opponent. His ( not overly supportive friend) Stevie does little to quell
Max's fears and only succeeds in making him feel increasingly insecure about the forthcoming encounter.
The joy of this show is that this doesn't feel like a 2 hander. Performers Daniel Portman and Gavin Wright (recreating his
performance from last year's Fringe First winner) provide so much energy that they light up a packed (and somewhat delayed)
audience at Roundabout at Summerhall. Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair's script is full of Scottish vernacular which immediately
brings the locals on board and so supercharges the audience that anyone not fortunate enough not to be born North of the border
is sucked in, rather than feeling excluded.
This may not be a new play but the fact it seems fresh is a credit to all concerned. People often say schooldays are "the best years of your lives", well they certainly weren't mine and although it is a long time ago plays like this quickly make me recall how tricky it was if you were not strong, self-confident or cool! Oddly, yesterday's Tom Parry show had a big section on "British bulldog", which frankly is not a pastime I was aware of but resonated with other DarkChatterss, including my wife who was at a convent at the time! This proves only that there were 2 different ways of recalling your school days.
However well-written "Square Go" is, it would not have worked without 2 great performances who help you quickly forget that you are watching "adult" actors. Director Finn den Hertog ensures there is no lull from beginning to end though I was a little concerned for audience members in the front row who seemed to be living dangerously due to the proximity of the actors.
Excellent stuff, though my DarkChat colleague was less impressed.
Square Go is at Roundabout @ Summerhall until August 26th (not Tuesdays)
Roundabout @ Summerhall (Venue 26)