Auditorium

Be warned, nobody is safe in the audience of Tom Crawshaw’s new play, Auditorium . . . even the reviewer. Three’s Company, the creators of last year’s 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 it’s just an ordinary day: his best friend (Yogi) is cheating on his girlfriend (Guy’s 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 Guy’s 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, “It’s 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. Crawshaw’s 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 you’re unlikely to see elsewhere.

Reviews by Natasha Long

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The Blurb

'Multi award-winning company seeks audience (non-smoking) for collaborative, interactive farce'. Guy's quiet life of fictional Frenchmen, missing underwear and existentialism is shattered forever by the return of his long-lost girlfriend, and the discovery of an audience hiding in his storeroom.

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