The Unmarried

The Unmarried is an original piece of writing making its Fringe debut. It is a spoken word play about a cocky, brash London woman named Luna who is navigating her way from nights out and one night stands to adulthood and long-term relationships. This new work was written, produced and performed by Lauren Gauge, who may have stretched herself too thin by taking on such an active role in the production.

This is a play which tried to do too much.

Luna, the protagonist, is loud and in-your-face. This can be funny, and there were points when her tongue-in-cheek comments drew chuckles from the audience. However, for the most part it made her difficult to care about and very inaccessible. Gauge, in her creation and portrayal of Luna, misjudged her audience and the varied trials of young adulthood she was trying to depict.

Attempts at being cross-genre also fell short. The script is written like a slam poem, and is supposed to imitate the feeling of being in a club on a night out. However, it lacks the visceral, moving elements which would make the use of spoken word worthwhile. Alongside Luna, there are two musical performers; Georgia Bliss sings and Haydn-Sky Bauzon beatboxes. The use of beatboxing is this show’s saving grace, being both innovative and the most original thing about this otherwise dull piece of original writing. These performers added energy and flair to certain scenes, notably contributing relatable excitement to a millennial’s first step on the property ladder.

There was a good use of movement in this play, particularly at the start as the performers danced in slow motion to pop music. Unfortunately, the song choices were as uninspiring as the rhyme scheme, adding very little to the story. Some of the physical material could have been more polished, a point which could be taken on by director Niall Phillips, who perhaps attempted to shoehorn too many diverse techniques in his realisation of the text.

This is a play which tried to do too much. Though some aspects of it were enjoyable, its many different components don’t come together to form a compelling whole. The Unmarried, though obviously a performance into which a lot of thought has gone, would have benefitted from some further fine-tuning. 

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Performances

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The Blurb

Luna is a bold as brass lager lout on the prowl for wild times putting two fingers up to society's expectations. Written and performed by the award-winning Lauren Gauge. Mixing 90s rave with 'striking, savage, rare writing talent' (Simon Stephens, playwright of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), The Unmarried hits Edinburgh with its much raved-about live underscore of old-school UK Garage anthems following sell-out runs at Lyric Hammersmith and Camden People’s Theatre. 'Raw, electrifying... Kate Tempest-esque... guaranteed you'll laugh with her and dream with her' ***** (LondonTheatre1.com).

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