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Concrete Ribbons

Lesa Dryburgh and Michael Trainor
24:7 Theatre Festival
Midland Hotel, Manchester
(2007)

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This is described as a tragicomedy about love, lifts and life. It features two main characters who are marooned in a high rise flat because the lift has broken. The Woman is an aspiring cake maker whose dreams go awry when she can't deliver the massive wedding cake that will secure her career. The Man, her husband, is a spectacular under-achiever and the region's youngest Lollipop man with a pub quiz obsession. They discover that they can perform short tableaux for passing flyover motorists and that this eases the tensions in their relationship.

After a successful career in theatre marketing this is Lesa Dryburgh and Michael Trainor's first play and there is much humour on offer. And the humour is more effective than the descent into tragedy towards the end. The witty costumes become more and more outrageous as the couple's increasingly manic attempts at drawing attention to themselves threaten to engulf them. These include Wagnerian horns and also a small trumpet when they mime Look Back in Anger. This reviewer's favourite joke.

As the Woman and Man, Zoe Thomas and Mark Winstanley bring an infectious energy to the show with Mark Winstanley particularly convincing. The props throughout are excellent and the gigantic wedding cake got a much deserved huge laugh. Director Wyllie Longmore drew out believable performances from his skilled actors. A very enjoyable hour of theatre in this eclectic festival of new writing.

The play continues at the Midland Hotel until the end of the week.

David Chadderton also reviewed this production

Reviewer: Andrew Edwards