Antler Theatre are no strangers to the Edinburgh Fringe, making their debut with This Way Up and Maria, 1968 in 2012. I was lucky enough to see both of these shows back then and really enjoyed this up and coming company’s unique and engaging style of theatre, so I was interested to see their latest project Lands.

A thought-provoking and clever piece of theatre that demonstrates the sheer brilliance of the writing, directing and acting

Meet Sophie and Leah. Sophie can’t stop bouncing on a mini trampoline. Leah obsesses over a 1,000 piece puzzle, marvelling at each piece and also providing humorous narratives for the characters. A lot about this allegorical tragicomedy is open to interpretation. We are unsure of where Sophie and Leah are and what the nature of their relationship is. Are they in their flat, a psychiatric ward? Are they sisters, friends, lovers, fellow patients? The trampoline that Sophie Steer impressively bounces on for the entire hour of the play serves as a very intelligent metaphor for possibly addiction, mental illness or isolation. What starts off as a seemingly funny joke turns into a much more serious issue. It is a very powerful illustration of the struggles those who suffer from addiction and mental illness face. It is not so simple to just stop, as easy as it may seem for someone on the outside.

While Leah is unable to understand Sophie’s addiction to the trampoline, Sophie is unable to understand Leah’s fascination with puzzles, but they both try to support one another even though each of them lose their patience at times. They are both isolated in their own lands.

Sophie Steer and Leah Brotherhead do an outstanding job at tackling a very difficult concept. The simplicity of the trampoline and puzzle is genius in highlighting this issue. This play also touches on the difficulties loved ones experience when supporting a family member or friend. This is a thought-provoking and clever piece of theatre that demonstrates the sheer brilliance of the writing, directing and acting Antler Theatre have to offer. 

Reviews by Lynn Rusk

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The Blurb

Two performers, a mini trampoline and a 1000 piece puzzle. Leah and Sophie have been together, here, for a long time. They are happy here. But there’s a problem. There’s a massive f*cking problem, and soon they’re going to have to talk about it. The award-winning Antler return to the fringe with a playful, intimate dissection of a relationship teetering on the edge of collapse. Exploring the impossibility of relationships, our inability to understand one another, and the lands we isolate ourselves on, this is an absurd tragi-comedy for our times.