Party in the USA!

I was very loudly welcomed into the room by Dave, one of the eight buzzing performers psyching themselves up in block colour tracksuits and Converse. From the pre-show, the cast are already jumping around and having a party. That energy doesn't let up for 75 minutes. It's a full speed disco rave.

To tell its story, it uses strudel, Stars & Stripes aviators and peculiar interpretations of Russian literature, which combine to make you feel like you've been taking mind-altering drugs yourself.

To put it simply, Party in the USA tells the story of the global economic collapse and the reasons why it happened through the medium of an LSD- and alcohol-induced bender. Set in 2008, on the brink of the Great Recession, the play ping-pongs between Deutsche Bank, the penthouse suite of the Plaza Hotel and other fantastical locations. To tell its story, it uses strudel, Stars & Stripes aviators and peculiar interpretations of Russian literature, which combine to make you feel like you've been taking mind-altering drugs yourself.

There are characters like Kevin, who "sells drugs for profit", and Sylvi, who stops the world spinning for long enough to ask, "partying is fun and all but we're young and energetic and shouldn't we be doing something more, erm, matterful?". This is typical of the production, which highlights how laughable the way the banking system is controlled is without preaching about it or becoming angry. Indeed, whenever we get close to a serious point or an indisputable fact, the show drunkenly veers in another direction and the fun starts up all over again.

The cast is brilliant, the definition of dynamism. Fuelled by Bud Light Lime, the American Dream and live electronic music from a drumkit-keytar combination in the corner of the stage, the characters are committed and energised beyond naturalism. Like everything else in this show, more is more. It works but it takes some time to wrap your head around the scale of everything that's going on.

I cannot understate how crazy this show is and I must admit that at points I wondered if I were watching something of complete genius or a terrifying LSD trip. I've decided that the inventiveness and energy of the performance must make it a success. I certainly want everyone to see it, and it deserves to be one of the most talked-about shows of the Fringe.

Reviews by Cara Ballingall

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★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

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★★★
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Two Thirds

★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

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★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

In 2008 the global economy collapsed, Obama ran for president, and Jeff took acid for the first time. This raucous, exhilarating howling laugh-of-shock at the state of the world hurls Jeff and his friends screaming into the maw of the Great Recession. Journeying from the penthouse of the Plaza Hotel to a German anarchist squat on Kaiserwilhelmstrasse to the steps of the US Capitol, join New York's JV Squad as Jeff tries to save us all armed with a degree in Russian Literature and a bottle of Bud Light Lime. Sell-out Incubator Festival NYC 2013.