Brighton FringeDramaReviewSouth East

BRIGHTON FRINGE: The View From The Mountaintop – The Warren Studio 3

Writer: Matthew Morrison
Reviewer: James Napleton

These days there seems to be no end to the ongoing political scandal, and it’s no different with Matt Morrison’s dark satire. By taking a look inside the insular bubble of the political world, this company examines the conflict between the ethics of the political class and everybody else. Concluding that underneath the political opportunism, the double think, and ego they are often just scared and confused sincerely looking for the right answer.

The story takes place in an undisclosed rural location, the site of a mountain, where two party activists take lead from their party man, who is, in their view, the all-seeing eye, omnipotent spin-doctor and master of the dark arts. He leads them on a semi-allegorical ascent with the events of a past scandal slowly unfolding as they go.

The storytelling is excellent, the details of the past fall into place through their dialogue, which is rich with political intrigue and paranoia. Banned from phones, and isolated from the outside world the pressure mounts on the two activists, as they begin to reveal more and more, feeling ever distant from their Zen-like political mastermind. This excruciating slow reveal of what they seem to be running away from creates a dark and intriguing energy as the audience’s minds race to piece it all together.

The twists and turns are not just dark but also comic, as the three characters employ witty one-liners, and keep a quick and consistent pace. The performances are assured and the characterisations are well constructed, with well-formed political tropes. However, the constant build up of tension reaches an underwhelming climax, leaving a deflating end to the heavy tension. Furthermore, the political clichés, despite being well constructed, feel slightly ordinary, which manages to dull the satire.  But Falling Sparrow doesn’t overstretch the mark, they excel in the middle ground and providing an entertaining blend of the comic and the sinister.

Runs 6-7 May and 3-4 June at The Warren Studio 3 | Image: Contributed  |  @brightonfringe

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The South East team is under the editorship of Nicole Craft. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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