BLACKCATFISHMUSKETEER (Malaprop Theatre, Dublin): Edinburgh Fringe 2017

What Fringe Festival? The Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Phindie writer Kathryn Osenlund visited Scotland to see some shows from the home of Fringe.

BlackCatfishMusketeer-_-Credit_-Molly-OCathain-768x512A young man and a young woman are going all clever to attract each other. Their long conversation is delivered, not to each other, but looking out to the audience. A kind of crazy woman plays the internet,  the go-between.  Their facilitator brings up imaginary links to their websites and describes the imaginary pictures they send. These two are negotiating their way into a possible relationship. She’s the aggessor, he’s more straightforward and sympathetic. Trying to impress each other, both get some zingers in, and there are many cute lines like, “Call you ‘pal’ like you’re gangsters… or Scottish.”   For people who have never met, they also talk a lot about trust and sex. And they don’t talk down to their audience. The internet dating idea is a clever set up. The actors  are spot on. We do understand that the uber cute-clever talk isn’t private or real. It is messaging meant to impress an audience. Still, by the end I thought about Billy Joel: I don’t want clever conversation/ I don’t want to work that hard/ I just want someone that I can talk to…  

Writer: Dylan Coburn Gray. Director: Claire O’Reilly. Cast: Catherine Russell, Ste Murray, Aoife Spratt. [Summerhall, Edinburgh, August 26, 2017 media@edfringe.com]

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About the author

Kathryn Osenlund, theater and film junkie, is a former National Critics Institute fellow, NEA fellow in Arts Journalism, and member of the American Theater Critics Assn Steinberg and Osborn playwriting awards committee. A Barrymore Award nominator and professor emeritus in communications and theater, Kathryn also writes for NY-based CurtainUp.com. On twitter @theatrendorphin.