Reviewer: Clare Howdon
Plunge Theatre Company certainly have an exceptional marketing team. It was difficult to walk around Edinburgh for five minutes, without noticing at least one of Clingfilm’s wonderful posters, eerily reminiscent of filmic comedic classic The First Wives Club. This combined with the 11pm time-slot generated intrigue and high expectations for what the company advertised as ‘an all singing, all dancing surrealist comedy’. Unfortunately, Clingfilm rarely delivered on this promise and the result was a somewhat messy and lack-lustre evening of theatre.
To be fair to Plunge Theatre, Clingfilm opens well. The audience are greeted by a church setting complete with a glittery sequin-flared trio who, dressed as vicars, perform a catchy and clever song, centred on the concept that funerals are the best ‘gig’ for their profession, trumping weddings and christenings. Regrettably, the songs are few and far between and the show primarily centres around the seemingly aimless ramblings of three friends attending the funeral of their university lecturer Cathy. The cast certainly achieve the annoying traits of the hipster generation but the flip-side to this is that rapport with the audience is practically non-existent and the characters presented are so unlikeable, it is difficult to engage or indeed care about the plight of these women.
Plunge Theatre’s ethos to create work with a sense of the ridiculous and commitment to disrupting the mainstream is commendable but unfortunately Clingfilm is slow-paced and structurally incoherent. We skip from random segment to random segment, punctuated by a few laughs and effective musical numbers. Despite some glimpses of promise, Clingfilm feels too disparate and empty to achieve its ambitions, and ultimately leaves its audience cold.
Runs until 27 August 2018 | Image: Contributed