The Meeting

Traversing Edinburgh in August is sure to invite all sorts of flyerers. But this festival, you may be asked “Have you ever met a psychopath?” I suggest you follow up immediately. If your answer was ‘no’, it is about to change.

The Meeting is clever, striking and as sharp as a serial killer’s razor blade

The Meeting is an energetic, skillful and fascinating piece of theatre by BareWater Productions – a small-scale company originating from the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts – and University of Edinburgh-trained new writer Mell Flinn. We are initially confronted with what looks to be a support group meeting. A suited, eccentric looking man (Andrew, final year student Louis Gale) prepares for the members’ arrival. Each bring their own flavour and presence; Lisa’s feistiness (final year student Rebecca Ozer) and the spits and spats she shares with Jules (student Pete Smith) provide semi-violent delight before the tense arrival of newcomer Chris (student Jack Sanders). This fans the flames of the group’s madness while recurrent questioning after an absent member looms ominously.

The piece has a liveliness which is instantly apparent as the cast fantastically illustrates varying degrees of sanity. Through the frantic Jules (don’t call him Julian), the aggressive Lisa, the skittish Andrew - who appears to be their leader only officially - we experience a sightseeing tour of crazy before meeting Chris, who vehemently proclaims sanity. Gale and Sanders do a terrific job of illustrating the ambiguity of ‘sane’. Flinn has more than succeeded in creating enthralling figures with intriguing backstories, who’d be completely believable if you could fathom the extent of their insanity. Magic sparks from this mish-mash and thrilling interplay. The cast operates like a machine but remains natural. Miraculously, the text is expertly and carefully expressed despite the franticness.

The pacing is well set and consistently varied, while suspense is built with gripping moments like a particularly tense confrontation between Chris and Lisa. The play arguably gives too much away too quickly, and jumps from one unearthing to the next. The plot is forwarded and the audience is grasped but the piece may be relying on a constant supply of reveals to create drama. The in-the-round style works ingeniously to exhibit the dynamic movement of the characters in and around the space. A minimalist set compliments the rawness of the action, while occasional lightbulb flickering does multitudes for ambience. However, a tonally-stale general lighting state and distracting and seemingly unnecessary background audio stick out.

The play features well-investigated explorations of themes including mental health, violence and sexual assault. However one vivid moment should be noted by those wary of scenes displaying sexual violence. While the scene fits the play’s narrative and tone, taking more steps to warn viewers might be prudent. The play’s resolution is a stroke of genius, although audiences may be disappointed that they are quickly taken away from a new realm of possibilities. All in all The Meeting is clever, striking and as sharp as a serial killer’s razor blade – essential viewing for those seeking captivating narratives and energetic performances this Fringe.

Reviews by Jet Graham

Pleasance Courtyard

The Wild Unfeeling World

Heroes @ Bob's BlundaBus

Imaan Hadchiti: Being Frank

Just the Tonic at The Grassmarket Centre

Matt Hoss: Here Comes Your Man

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall


Pleasance Dome

21 Futures by Olly Hawes

Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

Not Quite


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Tony hasn't shown up to the meeting. Lisa fears the worst... well she doesn't fear exactly, she doesn't feel fear, or any emotions really. A newcomer, Chris, arrives. Chris gets the impression something isn't quite right after the others introduce themselves. He expresses a desire to leave but he needs to attend these meetings in order to compete in the Olympic rifle squad. But why? Andrew seems to know and holds this over Chris as leverage. Julian just wants to tell everyone how well he is doing with his 12 steps. A self-help meeting like no other.

Most Popular See More

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets