Electric Eden

Not Too Tame

Pleasance Pop-Up: The Club

From 03 August 2016 to 29 August 2016

Rating: ***

Review by Liam Blain

Advertised as “party theatre”, Not Too Tame’s Electric Eden is certainly theatrical but lacks the depth of a play and the fun of a party.

Within seconds of walking into the Pleasance Pop-Up Club, there is a band around your wrist, face paint on your cheeks and a desperate want for you to have fun in this over-hyped club. The production is cleverly put together with a poetic script and slick direction by Jimmy Fairhurst. However, as the story progresses, there is an air of anticipation for a sudden plot twist or exciting character revelation that never arrives.

Taking place in Edinburgh’s Electric Circus, the show centres around the death of Tommy Eden, an elderly busker who dies singing outside the town’s new spa. Believing this is just one example of the community falling foul to greedy developers, a group of youngsters decide to protest in the building opposite. They blare music and proclamations over the street to make clear that these businessmen are not wanted in their little hamlet of tranquillity.

The production intersperses the protest with short scenes that scrutinise the lives of those involved. The most poignant of these is the moment we meet Eden’s pregnant granddaughter, Grace. She is struggling to stay afloat but an offer from the businessman over the road could change everything.

The chemistry between Grace (Louise Haggerty) and her partner (Alex Griffin-Griffiths) is beautifully cultivated but with a little more depth to both characters this emotional segment could have been show-stoppingly brilliant.

The piece is beautifully fluid but there is certainly not enough alcohol flowing to create the perfect party atmosphere for theatre of this nature. Showing at 3PM and 5PM every day, you can’t help but feel the company has missed a trick by not programming it as a late-night event to really get the crowds pumped for the cause.

This production is less "stick it to the man" and more "witness the war from afar", but the concept is strong. With a little more drive and some tweaks to the storyline, this show could be the ticket to a great night out.