This Is Not A Play (It's A Pathetic Cry For Help)

“This is not a play,” we’re told. But of course it is, really. I love a good meta-story and so the play’s title naturally caught my eye.

A fun puzzle, with a few chuckles along the way

This one takes a bit of mental gymnastics to get to grips with but good fun is had with it along the way. Overall, the story puts a spotlight on the nature of acting, lying, indulging in your own reality and being complicit in the manipulation of others.

Alex Lacey plays Amanda (who plays… Amanda), the daughter of a powerful mover-slash-shaker in the theatre biz. Lacey’s performance elevated the script to greater heights with a compelling and utterly believable delivery. She infuses the haunted character with bitterness, but also tenderness, and it was indeed very tempting to believe that she really was Amanda (playing Amanda).

Overall, I quite enjoyed the script, which was served well by Lacey’s excellent comic-timing. The writing did, however, lack clarity. There were references here and there to the character’s father who ‘Did Something’ to a young woman or two, that seems to have ruined their lives in ‘Some Way’.

However, the lack of specificity left me wondering what the whole story was really about. There are some things better not left to the imagination, because I had to contend with multiple imagined crimes at once, and no further clues were really given.

It was a good idea for a play, but I felt it was let down by the events described. Several elements did get my hopes up, that this would become even more meta, and I half-expected the character to realise that she was but a figment of the writer’s imagination. Alas.

Still, if you’re curious, do check it out as the unravelling of the mystery did make for a fun puzzle, and you’ll have a few chuckles along the way.

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Reviews by Jasmine Arden-Brown

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

'My name is Amanda. I have a nice life. Close to perfect. I have a great job. A house in a safe neighbourhood. A loving family. A dog. Westie. Furry little fellow. But in two hours, none of that will matter anymore. Because I'm going to call them. And when they're done, there will be nothing left of any of it.' This is the first play by Jonas Müller. It's based on a true story. Apparently. 'One of the most fascinating experimental theatrical minds at the Fringe' (BritishTheatreGuide.info).

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