Adrienne Solon, Christopher C. Hawkins, Dawid Majewski, Dead Person Productions, Death, Edinburgh Fringe, Frazer Gault, Georgia-Mae Smith, Jake Bolton, Kaia Nisbet, Sade Soares, Spaces on North Bridge, Tamsin Isaac, Theatre Review, We Are All Going to Die
Nine people, or rather eight and a dead body, are trapped on an Arctic research station. It is never established what they are researching out here, but from the look of them, it is probably something like the formula for a new breakfast cereal. They have lost radio contact with the rest of the world and their provisions are running out. They are all dressed as if for a walk in the Meadows in late September. Death looms and, one by one, as in the traditional teen-horror-in-the-woods movie, they are killed off.
The venue is the Space on North Bridge. The cast of “We Are All Going to Die” look familiar to me and so do the mood and feel of this play. Eventually I have placed them – these are the same young Plymouth performers who were behind 2016’s “The Last.” Both plays feature what is a large cast for a student Fringe production and scenarios in which a doomed outpost count out their final days. Yet whereas “The Last” had attempted some ill-advised melodrama and fluffed it, “We Are All Going to Die” decides to simply have fun and nails it. There are unrepentant puns and pantomime acting, but they are a small price to pay for the general cheerfulness of this production. The writer of “The Last,” Christopher C. Hawkins, is now on stage and putting in a good comic turn, promoted by way of a demotion. “We Are All Going to Die” is instead written by another of the performers, Jake Bolton.
There is a cute and charming geekiness to this show – you can imagine the characters and the actors likewise rejoicing over Dr Who within and after the play. Indeed, it is refreshing to encounter a student comedy with so little irony and literary self-consciousness to it. Aside from a single daring joke about David Bowie, and an episode in which the cast gleefully list ever wackier synonyms for periods, it is mostly honest clowning.
This lot stare death in the face and go, “meh!” In truth, I suspect that they are as oblivious to annihilation as lambs gambolling in the spring sunshine.