Islands

From Fine Mess Theatre comes Kyle Ross’ play Islands, an insight into upper-middle class marriage which typifies the lifestyle of the ‘rah’. Starring Eva Tausig as Sophie and Kyle Ross as Magnus, who take to the stage in naught but their underwear, Islands offers a revelation into the complications of maintaining marriage and good communications in the twenty-first century.

A crisp insight into the world of upper-middle class life.

Though not very accessible for non-theatre types, the cast goes to the effort of appearing relevant in the modern day with contemporary quips and pleasantries aimed at a younger audience. This captures the isolation and lack of communication in a globalised world of social networking, as well as the banality and shallowness of a world that now values successes through Twitter and Facebook, going so far as to make use of spoken-word hashtags and emojis.

The accents and characterisation perfectly capture the pretentiousness associated with posh life (gap yah, cycling society, lacrosse etc.), though at times you can’t help but feel as though the actors are playing themselves. There were no mistakes in the line delivery (or, if there were, they were unnoticeable), whilst lighting cues were delivered perfectly on time.

The back-and-forth telling of Magnus and Sophie’s life story, however, diffuses the realism brought to the play through the commendable acting to the point that it feels more like a gossip between friends. This is perhaps the biggest problem Islands suffers from, as there is little to continually engage you other than the amusing anecdotes of the two lovers – it doesn’t build to anything.

Yet the ending remains the major redeeming factor for both the play as a whole and for the characters Sophie and Magnus, as Islands culminates with a comical yet loveable rendition of Robbie Williams. Far from bad, but lacking in a story development that reaches any zenith, Islands is certainly worth watching; a play which delivers a crisp insight into the world of upper-middle class life.

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The Blurb

In Kyle Ross’ scathing new play, a successful young couple struggle to tie each other down. Sophie wants to get married. Magnus wants to keep secrets. They both want to win. Ice buckets, Tough Mudders and Fifty Shades violently collide in this sharply funny and unblinking examination of a modern relationship. Praise for Fine Mess’ previous shows: 'They've earned a spot right at the top of my list of must-sees' **** (FringeGuru.com). ***** (EdFringeReview.com), **** (BroadwayBaby.com), **** (ThreeWeeks), **** (AYoungerTheatre.com).

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