Be warned, nobody is safe in the audience of Tom Crawshaws new play, Auditorium . . . even the reviewer. Threes Company, the creators of last years Fringe hit, Play On Words, are offering another hilariously interactive experimental comedy this year.
Guy Walker, the owner of a not-so-successful Edinburgh bookshop, thinks its just an ordinary day: his best friend (Yogi) is cheating on his girlfriend (Guys sister, Charlotte), while his one living ex-girlfriend (Heather) has returned to announce: My travels of the world have taught me that I ought to be working in a bookshop in Edinburgh. However, when Guy pops into the storeroom, he has a nasty surprise. His failing bookshop turns out to be home to a portal into another world; instead of stacks of dusty books, Guy finds a Fringe audience watching his every move.
At this point, the host on our side of the portal declares an interval and he and his blue-haired technician, Sonic, wonder what to do about Guys discovery. As the other characters, as well as members of the audience, are drawn back and forth through the storeroom gateway, mysteries begin to unfold, secrets are overheard and, as the not-so-trustworthy Inspector Rex Cornell points out, Its all a bit of a farce.
Directed by Yaz Al-Shaater, the eight-person cast work admirably together and thoroughly deserve your laughs. In particular, Amr El-Bayoumi is enormously entertaining as the absurdly disguised Inspector Cornell, and Kayleigh McDonald, who plays the sex-obsessed Charlotte, has a delightful flair for addressing, mocking and manipulating the audience. Crawshaws script blends impressively with the improvised moments and it is often impossible to tell whether the person sitting next to you is an ignorant audience member like yourself or a slyly placed plant. In short, this clever play is not just highly amusing, but also something youre unlikely to see elsewhere.