THEATRE REVIEW: Chow Mein & Hex
Monday, 9 April 2012 11:49
Sam Khan-McIntyre reviews the plays Chow Mein and Hex for buzz extra.
After runaway success at last year’s Fringe, Leith-based youth theatre company, Strange Town, were back at the Traverse Theatre this month with a three-day double bill of Hex and Chow Mein. Penned by Tim Primrose (Hex) and Sam Siggs (Chow Mein), both pieces take a domestic situation to energetic new levels, each focussing on a couple’s relationship.
The short lengths of both plays mean that the stories are fast moving, while the engaging plots suck the viewer in. The minimalist stage of Chow Mein contrasts with the clutter of Hex, with the latter’s plethora of props representing the trappings of consumerism and the search for something more spiritual. Hex’s sofa becomes a metaphor for how we perceive reality, and raises questions over the existence of a parallel universe.
Despite some larger-than-life moments that clash with the naturalism, the performances are on the most part convincing, with some well-timed comedy throughout both pieces. The asides to the audience help build a level of intimacy, while the spectator involvement adds to the energy.
These plays are worth a full revival; with both asking vital questions of society, Strange Town are proving themselves to be an impressively formidable force in Edinburgh’s theatre scene.
Image Source: Alan McCredie