Writer and Director: David Weedall
Reviewer: Jenni Dixon
Second Impression Theatre Company was founded in 1992 and use The Fringe Festival to premier their work which they take to London and elsewhere in the UK. They are a mixture of experienced and aspiring amateur performing artists.
Arielle is a slightly oddball daughter of a millionaire business man Jack Johnson (JJ)who is abducted by former colleagues, Dana and Ethan. They were begrudgingly sacked due to austerity measures and cost cutting in the toy company “Jack and Jill” and want revenge. After chatting with Jack’s PA, Lucy, they all believe they are owed something from JJ and they plot to kidnap Arielle. With no experience or plan of how things might pan out, they carry out the abduction with unexpected consequences. Arielle isn’t that bothered and wants in on the action to rinse her father of £4million so she takes control of the naïve abductors and the whole situation!
They used minimal props that were enough to let the audience understand the change of scenes and locations. This is also true of the music and sound effects. The intimate venue meant that no dialogue was lost as actors made full use of the floor space available to them and allowed the onlookers to feel a part of the action.
As the play unfolded it is realised that tongues need to be placed firmly in cheeks. Although the threat of kidnapping is a real life one, it is probably something far removed from most of our daily lives that allows the audience to laugh at the absurdness of it all. Arielle’s reaction to being kidnapped is unexpected and very funny. Her father too has an awkward humour that allows a potentially very dark situation to be laughed out loud at. The green abductors bungle their way through, attempting to make themselves feel like they are in control, while, very amusingly, actually being manipulated by Arielle. A clever mix of the real and the bizarre!
This was a well-rehearsed, fast paced, funny short play (approx. 1hour) acted with conviction. The only thing missing from this was a larger audience, if only to help build the humorous atmosphere and allow for a few more laughs. Take more of a chance on these fringe show people, you might have a pleasant surprise!