Unprescribed
  • By Isla VT
  • |
  • 8th Aug 2014
  • |
  • ★★★★

Without a doubt this all-female experimental show is one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen. It was also one of the most enjoyable. Set in “The Centre,” an institution specialising in experimental new techniques for curing obsessive compulsive behaviour, we are introduced to two patients (Dana Etgar and Sarah Chenoweth Kenney) suffering from different obscure and humorous obsessions. Guided by the stern and clinical, yet seemingly unhinged head of The Centre (Katherine Vince) and her silent but secretly subversive assistant (Justina Kaminskaite), a number of weird and wonderful techniques are demonstrated - all aimed to cure the overwhelming obsessions of the two patients.

This really is, for me, what Fringe theatre is all about - something completely different, that tries new things and ends up with an entertaining and unique production.

This show is characterised by the unpredictable - strange things unfold before the eyes of the audience, with hysterical results. With excellent and exceedingly ingenious use of props, physicality, music and facial expression, the four characters construct a captivating, if confusing, world, in which dreams, reality, sanity and insanity all blend together - and anything, no matter how odd, can occur. And I mean anything: robotic, manic dance routines combined with carrots in thigh holsters; a forest made of pot plants; Italian opera singing. The works. In the midst of this experimental mix there are frequent bursts of humour - each of the four performers has a superb grasp of comic timing and physical comedy and uses that to full advantage.

Several things could have been tightened up in order to make this a truly phenomenal production - excessive time lags, dead stage time and clowning sections that dragged all slowed the pace and punchiness of the performance.

This really is, for me, what Fringe theatre is all about - something completely different, that tries new things and ends up with an entertaining and unique production. Smart, sexy and surreal, Unprescribed is a hugely enjoyable hour of inventive insanity.

Reviews by Isla VT

Assembly Roxy

Calypso Nights

★★★★★
Just The Tonic at the Caves

Shooting the White Eagle

★★★★
C venues - C nova

We Never Land

★★★★
Greenside @ Nicolson Square

Unprescribed

★★★★
C venues - C nova

The Devil Without

★★★★
Gryphon@WestEnd

Odd Shaped Balls

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Sinister, funny, sexy and absurd. Unprescribed invites the audience to The Centre to observe treatments targeting those suffering from anxieties and obsessions. Patients are led through a series of exercises designed to aid their journey to a more peaceful existence. As a multinational group of female theatre makers, The Sun Apparatus use everything from song and dance to vegetables to explore the stresses and expectations surrounding institutional control and our current existence. Unprescribed asks whether our anxieties and obsessions can, or even should, be cured. Short-listed for The Scottish Daily Mail Edinburgh Award 2014.