Writer: Joel Samuels
Reviewer: David Doyle
Fine Mess Theatre’s Divas is a production that’s never quite what you think it’s going to be. Far from the camp frivolity that the title suggests, this is a heartfelt and interesting look at a modern relationship. Adam and Damien meet in a club and fall in love, that much is certain, but what happens after that is less clear. Both men recount the relationship, one starts the story on the night they meet, the other on the night they part ways, and the differences in those accounts is what makes the piece so intriguing.
Daniel Ward and Joel Samuels deliver two strong performances as Damien and Adam, crafting two fully realised characters. Directly addressing the audience using microphones there’s an intimacy with what they’re saying that drives the show forward. The writing is strong and really succeeds in capturing the relationship between Damien and Adam in a way that feels contemporary. The duo is joined on stage by a trio of a cappella divas who score some of the piece while also playing some incidental characters in the plot. It’s an interesting idea and one that has real potential but one that ultimately doesn’t quite work in the production as it currently stands. They feel slightly out of place on the stage, and there’s a real sense that they aren’t woven into the production as much as they might be. With some further development they could be a more integral part of the production and one that makes this show stand out from the crowd.
Fine Mess have created one of the more interesting pieces at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a strong script and cast, as well as staging the show in a way that’s genuinely fresh. It’s a production that needs some more work to fully realise itself but all the components are there to make this a hugely successful show.
Runs until 31August 2015