Real Life Becomes a Rumour

This 'pitch black comedy' revolves around three unlikely friends sat in a room for what we believe is a friendly get together. Real Life Becomes a Rumour sets us up for a sinister twist that never seems to come and we soon realise that the production just doesn't go anywhere.

As a self proclaimed 'black comedy' we expect an incredibly dark undertone, with surprises and a warped sense of humour. However all we are presented with are vague hints towards a shady history between the three men, with very few dark twists and morbid revelations that make a show like this successful.

In places feels like this production is trying to be controversial. However, as the subject matter is so vague, it seems to attempt this by resorting to an excessive use of foul language. At one stage two characters argue about using the "'C' word" one egging the other to "just say it!" Setting up an exchange like this blatantly draws attention to how this show seeks impact and taboo through its explicit language, but after hearing the 'F' bomb dropped in every other sentence, any impact is virtually non existent.

The whole production is built on ambiguity which, when used successfully, can be an incredibly effective means to grip an audience's' curiosity. It would be a lie to say that I was not curious about all three characters at the start, but after half an hour with little more than a vague hint as to why the men are all there, it only takes so long for you to stop caring. What is really frustrating is the lack of explanation to any of the plot or characters at the end of the production. There is no clear ending, the show just seems to stop. The lights suddenly dropped and then the cast took their bows. Ambiguity can be very effective, but it needs to be addressed.

The redeeming feature of this production is that there are moments of genuine hilarity. A discussion of cured meats in the middle class lifestyle is well written and had all of us in stitches. But unfortunately these moments of humour cannot make up for the shortcomings of this show.

Reviews by Alex Hargreaves

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

In a new pitch black comedy, three ‘salesmen’ reunite in a shabby apartment in the middle of nowhere. What begins as a light-hearted affair soon turns into a much darker occasion, as the three men’s jovial discourse becomes tinged with threats and aggression. Soon an unexpected fourth guest arrives, an ambivalent figure who raises the tension even further. The audience watches as a game of one-upmanship cascades into a wild power struggle, as more of each character’s shady past is revealed.

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