Suspicious Minds

Tom Fowler

Pleasance Dome

From 02 August 2017 to 28 August 2017

Rating: ****

Review by Philip Fisher

To describe Suspicious Minds as a romcom misses much of the point. On the surface, the tale of Londoners Mark and Fran, together for seven years from their early twenties, is nothing out of the ordinary.

However, for a couple of reasons, this production which is staged as a live radio production is special. First, in addition to Matt Bent (nobly standing in for a couple of performances and blending in perfectly) and Zoe Lambrakis taking the leading roles, two others sit alongside.

Abby Cassidy and Andrew Turner play minor roles and also provide superb foley (sound) effects using a weird and wonderful set of props, which seem to hit the mark (not Mark—Fran wants to hit him) every time.

In addition, after Fran has a one-night stand and the partnership begins to go sour, Mark books the holiday of many lifetimes.

This involves not only space but time. Their tour includes Ancient Rome, Chatsworth 1813, the Titanic, New York 1945, Berlin 1924 and more. This helps the couple to see themselves and each other in a new light.

While Tom Fowler overcomplicates the plot, the novelties make this endearing play genuinely different, which is always a big selling point in Edinburgh.