Edward's Theatre Company
Black Comedy
Dates: 6th to 11th August
Time: 18:30 - 19:45
Price: £7.00 (£5.00)

Following on from such acclaimed hits as Marry Me A Little, Kindertransport and Playhouse Creatures Edward's Theatre Company returns for its fourteenth year at the Fringe. The company aims to produce an exciting variety of work for as broad an audience a possible.

In Peter Shaffer's ingenious upside-down comedy all is not as it seems.  Brin is expecting a millionaire to inspect his work and Carol's mother to inspect him, but when the fuse blows all hell breaks loose and secrets unravel in the dark.  When the lights go out the fun begins!

Quaker Faith and Practice
29.01

We need to be willing to be led into the dark as well as through green pastures and by still waters. We do not need to be afraid of the dark, because God is there.

Gordon Matthews (1987)

Very Funny and Nicely Put

 

BLACK COMEDY by Peter Shaffer

performed by the Edwards Theatre Company

 

 

Peter Shaffer got the idea for this play from duellists in a Chinese Opera. They stage a ritual fight yet give the impression they are duelling in the dark.

 

In 'Black Comedy' the rituals when a fuse blows are deep-dyed British. Brin wants to impress a rich foreign funder while meeting his potential mother-in-law for the first time. No pressure then.

 

This is a very clever play. We see the cast, but the cast - struggling with a power cut - cannot see each other. In a small Fringe Venue where one step can take you off- stage, the challenge for the Edwards Theatre Company is not to 'look'. Top marks to the deb. toff Carol Melkett , who maintains a sightless stare throughout, and slowly misses her step up the stairs even when she is not centre stage.

 

Peter Shaffer was a 'Bevan Boy' down the mines before he turned playwright and the subversion in 'Black Comedy' is very funny and nicely put. The rich foreign funder is deaf so does not hear what the rest of the world is saying. Our upper-class Brits don't talk - they bark, and have many certainties about foreigners and the way the world works. They also don't touch. But other people do, and have touched a lot, as the picture increasingly reveals in the dark.

 

This is a strong cast and graced by 3 exceptional performances. Miss Furnival, the genteel neighbour, made baffled and lonely by the supermarket culture dawning in the 1960s, drew a real response from the audience; Harold Gorridge, the neighbour with a tendresse for the AC-DC Brin, takes the audience in his grip from his first entry; and the philosopher Schuppunzigh from the London Electricity Board, successfully changes the pace and pours light into a British guddle and saves the day.

 

'Black Comedy' is on for a week and worth a visit.

 

By Kirby Grip

at the Fringe.