Made Up

Using poetry, physical theatre, music and a limited amount of props, The Fast Food Collective’s new show is a thrilling romp through a night on the town. Made Up will have you laughing, crying and occasionally tapping your feet along with the music. 

I was completely hooked and invested in the lives of these four women, following them through emotional highs and heart-breaking lows

Squeezed on such a small stage, it would be easy for such an energetic and movement-based show to go awry, but the actors not only manage to perform perfectly-synchronised choreography, but also make the space come alive, using their bodies to help shape the scenes in such a way that I often forgot the venue entirely. Their incredible energy and vitality brings you into their world, and as the play sets off, I was completely hooked and invested in the lives of these four women, following them through emotional highs and heart-breaking lows.

The script is surprisingly beautiful and, at times, even poignant. Scenes of bathroom drug-taking and sweaty nightclub pulling turn into captivating and moving speeches. It is this ability to find something meaningful and powerful in the mundane that really draws attention, and left me mulling it all over again and again as I left.

The text also hits something universal about the experience of going out, making jokes out of recognisable situations and characters that could be pulled straight out of an Edinburgh student’s Friday night out at Hive. This makes the whole performance easily accessible and makes the characters all the more relatable and real.

All of this is complimented by wonderful lighting and sound design that root one firmly in a nightclub environment and help set the scene without being too in-your-face and obvious. The show’s small imperfections arise from the fact that some of the women’s stories simply aren’t as captivating as others.

In particular the piece about a person struggling with the fear of missing out feels a touch superfluous by the middle and only serves to distract from more moving plot points. Additionally as the majority of movement is very slick and designed to help move the story on, the few moments of movement for movement's sake, without a real connection to the plot, stand out, though they are of course very pretty to watch.

Still, Made up is a wonderful piece of theatre that captures, in its mood, feel and look, the experience of a truly memorable night on the town, whilst managing to say something rather touching and relevant about youth culture. But beyond all this, it is one of those brilliant shows that sends one skipping from the auditorium grinning and with a new spring in the step. I highly recommend it.

Reviews by Joseph McAulay

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Blending spoken word, comedy and physical theatre, Made Up tells the explosive tale of a night out in Dublin. Diving into the sweaty depths of the dance floor and coming up for air in the smoking area, Made Up sees a series of fragmented accounts piece together a striking, insightful portrait of modern nightlife culture – and all the delight and depravity that it entails. With an all-female cast, live onstage DJ and inexorable ensemble energy, audiences will find themselves immersed in the world of the piece, bopping unstoppably, soaring through the highs and smashing through the heartbreak.