BUMP! – BUCKLE UP THEATRE (Camden Fringe) ★★★★☆

Buckle Up Theatre’s latest production fuses their signature farcical physicality with a more naturalistic story line, and puts an effective new spin on the familiar guy meets girl trope.

 

Having seen Journeys last year at the Tristan Bates Theatre, I was intrigued by the subject matter they had chosen to tackle with ‘bump’. This years production, a two hander starring Writer and founder Andrew Hollingworth and Oriana Charles contained much more dialogue than their previous shows. The breakout scenes of physical, choreographed clowning were used selectively to demonstrate various passing of time and gave us the character’s stories quickly and to great effect.

 

Ian and Eliana are two very familiar characters. The nerdy boy who falls hard for the aloof, guarded ‘cool’ girl – it’s a story we’ve seen before in many plays (and indeed in real life). But in Buckle Up’s hands, that story becomes so much more entertaining than in previous incarnations.

 

The bedroom scene in particular was hilarious – the entire audience were guffawing loudly at the cringeworthy awkwardness of the new couple. Another highlight was The montage of dates, including a very clever reenactment of a day at the fairground.

 

Hollingworth and Charles performances were impeccable. The both brought a touching depth and realism to their characters, at the same time as having us in stitches. Oriana was particularly compelling during the plays more somber scenes. Special mention must also be given to the sound design of the play. Every sound effect (and there was a lot of them) was completely spot on, not a cue was missed.

 

Bump tells a forgettable story in an unforgettable way. The direction was slick, innovative and fun, and the two actors lit up the stage. A perfect romantic comedy for the 21st Century, and one which I’m sure will go down a storm in Edinburgh.

 

LAURA ELLIS

★★★★☆

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