Replay

Replay tells the story of Freya, a piano teacher, who becomes obsessed with one of her pupils, James, following the suicide of his sister. We see Freya's story as a flashback after she becomes distressed to the point of insanity, and must try to explain her conflicted feelings to a friend at a party. The three ensemble members portray different characters behind her, abstractly moving the narrative quickly along between many locations and time frames.

Although the cast give committed performances to the piece, it unfortunately doesn't quite transcend into full or enjoyable theatre.

Although the cast give committed performances to the piece, it unfortunately doesn't quite transcend into  full or enjoyable theatre. Fundamentally, the relationship between Freya and James that is meant to be strong and pure enough to defend her questionably moral feelings towards him is not apparent so we don't have an understanding of her passion for him or empathy for the actions it causes. Likewise, once it has been established that Freya is tortured by the shame of her feelings and the desire to soothe James' grief, there is little development and Freya remains in a similar emotional state for the entirety of the show.

Even accepting that this was non-naturalistic theatre, there are some technical things that we just didn't believe were happening. When the actors perform specific actions, such as writing a letter or eating a sandwich, it is so obvious that they are not really doing those things that we are taken out of the fantasy world they have created. Also, projection and clarity were not quite strong enough for every word to be caught, leading to some sense being missed. Saying that, Clare Joseph of the ensemble confidently portrayed each of her roles with great believability and solid, varied characterisation.

Reviews by Cara Ballingall

C venues - C nova

Inglorious Insinuations of Insanity

★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Free for All

★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

If Only Diana Were Queer

★★
C venues - C nova

Two Thirds

★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Much Further Out Than You Thought

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Freya only wanted to help James, you should know that. She just became too involved. It's not criminal. All the same, she feels the need to confess. And it's not normal what she feels, she thinks. Normal - she wants to escape the normal stories... By virtue of an abstract chorus manipulated by a monstrosized radio, Freya replays experience into an act of self-justification. Well, she can always try. 'A gripping psychological drama and excellent new piece of writing that leaves the audience with a healthy sense of unease and questions in the back of their heads' (Oxford Cherwell).