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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 – Plunge Theatre: Clingfilm review

A comic, dark and beautiful hour brought to you by three hipsters at a funeral.

Clingfilm is a warm and disruptive piece of cabaret theatre that provides a new take on modern life through the eyes of three young women. Set at a funeral of their old university professor, they get chatting about life during the service.

Questions asked by the self-professed hipsters (seemingly replaced by the term ‘millennials’ these days) include: ‘WTF is Brexit?’ ‘Why is my succulent dead?’ ‘Is hunger an emotion?’ (There are sandwiches with no crusts served at the wake). However the show digs deeper as we learn about the differing backgrounds of each of the characters. They couldn’t be more different. The girls herald from the home counties, a Cypriot household in London’s roughest borough and Poland.

While many shows at the fringe are seemingly single issue with a linear narrative, Plunge theatre presents the chaotic thought processes of three very different women on stage.

We are treated to mesmerising and memorable melodies and beautiful singing during the service, threaded together with glittering streams of consciousness that reveal the humour and vulnerabilities of the head versus heart musings of this unlikely girl band. Adding their trademark absurd and surreal touch, each also takes on different roles from the vicar to a friend of the deceased.

It is refreshing and life-affirming to see female friendship of three imperfect heroines on stage. They find unity through shared strong and at times clashing identities that work together to debunk stereotypes and socioeconomic expectations. The funeral setting provides a sense of dark and macabre comedy and also reinforces the anxiety the girls feel as they struggle to find answers.

Plunge Theatre has an artistic output that verges on performance art and creates a transient and captivating audience atmosphere. There are definitely opportunities to tighten the writing and embellish the comedic attributes of characters for belly laughs with (non-hipster) audience members, however overall the production is a humorous, successful and moving tribute to the anxieties of a generation.

There is humour to be found in their disorganisation, and structurally it is clear that in order to pull apart social convention, they are prepared to take a hammer to tired theatrical expectations that the fringe is usually characterised for, which is very exciting.

Title Clingfilm Venue Pleasance Below Company Plunge Theatre (Izabella Malewska, Tutku Barbaros and Lilly Pollard) Dates 16-19, 21-27 Aug Time 23:00 (one hour) Tickets https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/clingfilm

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