EDINBURGH | GLASGOW | ABERDEEN | INVERNESS | DUNDEE | PERTH

Two Man Show

at Summerhall

* * * * -

Words, music and physical theatre combine in this inventive performance piece.

Image of Two Man Show
Note: This review is from the 2016 Fringe

The premise of Two Man Show is ‘Two Women play, two women playing, two men’. This accurately describes what the audience sees onstage, however it does not cover the important themes, inspiring performances and the exuberance of the show.

Northern Stage is a theatre venue and production company based in Newcastle. They develop and promote excellent theatre in the north of England. During the Edinburgh Fringe they have taken their format north of the border and have a theatre space in Summerhall to present their groundbreaking work. Two Man Show from Rashdash (Abbi Greenland and Helen Goalen) is being presented at Northern Stage and it underlines the challenging and entertaining performances that organisation supports.

Two Man Show is almost like a jigsaw of diverse sketches. The pieces come together at the end to present a tense and exciting conclusion to a transgressive and engaging performance piece. The themes of masculinity, patriarchy and language are expressed in music, dance, physical theatre, spoken word and drama. On occasion the two female performers take on the male roles of John and Dan. We see the pair argue, disagree and struggle to play a game of Cards Against Humanity. These segments offer comedy and laughs and help build up to the dramatic ending where everything falls into place.

Music and song also play a big role in Two Man Show, with the two performers being joined onstage by a musician, who plays guitar, loop pedals, piano and vocals. The soundscapes present an immersive and buoyant soundtrack to the physical performance sections. These segments come in force when words cannot express the emotion and feelings that the performers are looking to discuss. However words are very much part of the conclusion. Abbi Greenland takes the microphone and performs a spoken word piece at breakneck speed. Her passions, thoughts and feelings are loud clear and leave the audience breathless in their passionate and exhausting delivery.

Two Man Show covers a lot of ground during its 70 minute running time. With so much going on during the performance it could be easy to lose track and struggle to keep up. The quality of the drama and the ability of the performers ensure that the audience is thoroughly engaged and immersed in this unique and brilliant show.