Particularly in the Heartland

Traverse 2

Watching a play devised by New York based The TEAM can be like trying to take a mobile phone call from an area with poor reception. This young company throws around many ideas and has boundless energy but their message can often disappear amongst far too much white noise.

Particularly in the Heartland is a satire on contemporary American life and politics. Following group recitals of the iconic songs about America building to a rendition of all six verses of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, the play starts with the dramatically represented death of Robert F Kennedy.

We then cut to the home of the Springer family in Kansas, the dead centre of the USA. After their parents mysteriously disappear, the three small children enter a nightmare with visits from RFK, an old schoolfriend's ghost who might be an alien and a woman called Dorothy, though again it isn't clear whether this Dorothy is Kansas's most famous traveller to Oz.

By the end, one has some idea of the concerns of intelligent young Americans and the recollection of some memorable images but these Fringe First winners from last year must be regarded as an acquired taste.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher

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