At Gryphon Venues, instead of your humdrum paper ticket stub, you get a glittery poker chip. Not to keep, I disappointedly hasten to add, but still exciting. The show sadly had neither the anticipated gambling theme, nor quite the sparkle. Focusing on a posse of Edinburgh teenagers, portrayed by a posse of Edinburgh teenagers, the multilayered narrative was ambitious, but unfortunately the actors lacked conviction.
On a Saturday morning in Edinburgh, in between chilling out at McDonalds, friends’ houses and the bus stop, a group of friends discover that among the other shenanigans of the night before, one of their friends has gone missing. What could have been a tense thriller is buried under less interesting subplots, like the missing girl’s best friends going outfit shopping for another party.
A few of these trivial scenes were funny - such as the girl who dumps her boyfriend by outing herself as a fake lesbian so as to let him down lightly (poor guy) and subsequently kisses his best (male) friend. After some pretty justified teasing from her best friend, she announces ‘I hate you!’ to which her friend retorts ‘Well at least you don’t love me.’ There was also a vaguely entertaining discussion about the superiority of bulimia over anorexia: ‘Then at least you get to eat something’. While these quips prompted chuckles from the audience, it was hollow laughter and the exchange did little to dispel the shallow image widely held of adolescents.
While the illustrations on a PowerPoint to the side of the stage showing the location of different scenes were detailed and clever, they were the clearest indication of setting as the dialogue didn’t give much away. Also, the revelation of the fate of the missing girl would have been underwhelming if I hadn’t forgotten that she was missing altogether.
My City Saturday was trying to draw many threads together, to tell lots of interlinking stories surrounding the central mystery of the missing person, but lacked the energy and conviction to do this successfully. While bringing such a large young cast to the Fringe to put on such a complex project was impressive, the play could have been so much more if it had limited itself to fewer stories and really fleshed out the characters and main plot.