The Fringe is and always has been a breeding ground for new work and experimentation and rightly so. New writing Albion Forlorn satirically charts the progress of a young boy as he encounters the fractured dreams, disillusionment and twisted mores of a 21st century Britain.
The show has big aims but fails to deliver with a cast who are fundamentally unsure of themselves. At one point our narrator completely forgot his lines leaving us all in a pondering silence only broken when the director called out with a line prompt. The production offers up a mishmash of performance styles which leaves an uneven style of acting across the whole show. The one person holding it together is the lyricist Sue Casson who possesses a keen ear and an amazing Jazz style voice but this alone isn’t enough to carry the whole production.
It’s obvious from the feel of the production that the company are aiming to replicate some of the work of Joan Littlewood’s legendary Theatre workshop, which was always politically aware in its productions and more importantly its casting. While Casson as a seasoned professional can carry the bulk of the show, the remaining actors, all of whom are clearly under 20, come across as though they are being forced to be on stage, pulling the show down for the viewer.
There was no cast list available at time of reviewing, but credit must go to Casson and the two girls as when they sing they actually produce very tight three part female harmonies. They are also accompanied by some very stylish piano playing from the company’s solo musician who also lends a rich baritone vocal to certain numbers.
Buried somewhere within Albion Forlorn is production which has a lot to say about today’s society. You just might enjoying watching a production which has so much potential for better things.