The Future for Beginners

Alan Harris and Martin Constantine with music by Harry Blake

liveartshow and Wales Millennium Centre

Summerhall

From 01 August 2014 to 24 August 2014

Rating: *****

Review by Philip Fisher

The Future for Beginners, which comes courtesy of liveartshow and Wales Millennium Centre, is a whimsical comedy.

Ostensibly, it tells a love story featuring Matthew and Jenny a pair of co-workers in a Welsh data cleansing centre. So far so bland, you might think.

What take the play into a different class from so many of its competitors are a wacky imagination and a musical aesthetic.

Amid piles of papers with a video screen behind them, ukelele-playing Matthew Bulgo and Jennifer Adams playing their namesakes do not like risk or uncertainty. As a result, they decide to plan every aspect of their married life in advance.

This takes seven years of hard work and, ironically, when they get to the end of the process, a fatal flaw creeps in. The novelty is refreshing and touching and on its own would justify the price of a ticket.

The other unique aspect of this production is that Miss Adams reveals and makes good use of her soaring soprano on regular occasions throughout the performance. It helps that Summerhall’s Old Lab has high ceilings which ensure the perfect acoustics for such a performance.

You won't see anything quite like this anywhere else on the Fringe and, as a result, The Future for Beginners is a strange but seductive pleasure.