Consequences, a new show from KinkyFish Theatre and Duncan Battman is an undiscovered diamond of a play. KinkyFish, who made their Fringe debut in 2010, portray a mournful yet uplifting story of friendship and loss. Two detectives investigating the death of a quiet and reclusive librarian discover some dark secrets which have serious implications on the 20-year-old case of a murdered teenage girl. The detectives, unbeknown to them, are joined in the librarian's kitchen by his ghost who retells his memories of the murdered girl, Cilla. This is a show that plays with your emotions, and the many twists in the plot test the audience's allegiances to different characters as a dark and plaintive story unfolds.
The intimate venue suits the performances well; these are performances which often paint the story so delicately that it could almost be a television programme. Emotions are conveyed through sighs and slight movements of the head, the acting is not theatrical at all but rather subtle and understated. The set, which is designed to appear as if it is constructed entirely out of cardboard, is both simple and impressive, stressing the flimsy nature of our perception of reality. Of course, there are moments when the flimsy nature of the set has its faults – a big gesture from the young constable knocks the sink from the wall in the opening scene – yet none of the four flinch.
All four performances are incredibly strong in this show, especially Pete Picton’s portrayal of Norman the librarian. Picton performs a beautifully melancholy monologue in which he transitions seamlessly between his present-day self, who has obviously suffered a stroke and a memory of himself when he is healthy. The tender relationship between Norman and his young lodger Cilla, played by Michelle McKay, which we see growing through their ghosts and memories, is both heartwarming and heartbreaking - not least because of the audience's suspicions about Norman's involvement in Cilla's death. The conversations between the guilt-ridden police sergeant, played to perfection by Mark Forester-Evans and his young constable, portrayed by Rajan Sharma, are excellent.
This is a show which deserves to be seen by a much wider audience, with stellar performances and a story which speaks deeply to all.