DramaNorth WestReview

Recall –  GM Fringe at The Peer Hat, Manchester

Reviewer: Andrea Allen

Writer/Director: Rebeca Durham

Immersive theatre is a tricky thing to pull off and is enough to make even the most seasoned of theatre goers’ blood run cold if not done perfectly. This makes it even more of a treat when a company manages to smash it out of the park, which is exactly what Falling Stars Theatre do with Recall.

Written and Directed by Falling Stars Theatre’s founder Rebecca Durham. Recall sees audience members adopt the role of family friend and party guest at the surprise 20th wedding anniversary of Alex and Nick. Organised by their psychology student daughter Sophie, the night conjures both hilarious and haunting echoes of the night her parents met back in 1989, and the different perspectives and memories that all those there that fateful night carry to the present day.

With strong performances all round, it’s impossible not to warm to the characters in front of you. If anything you want a little bit more, complex storylines are wrapped up far too quickly just as your heart is starting to ache for the people at the centre of them. The show, advertised at one hour, runs at 75 minutes, but you’d more than happily sit for another 20 to see more thoroughly fleshed out resolutions to these problems and secrets that have laid festering and dormant for decades. The theme of memory and how one event can be perceived in a myriad of different ways is a fascinating and relevant concept that is introduced but sadly under-explored.

The breaking of the fourth wall by several of the characters to explain how audience interaction works also feels unnecessary in a show which very much speaks, sings, and shouts for itself. Falling Stars Theatre’s Recall is fringe theatre as it should be, a perfect balance of playfulness and pathos that never veers into pretentiousness.  In the pub, with a belting soundtrack including Kung Fu Fighting, Blue Monday, Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? and laughter and smiles all round, after the year we’ve all had, this 80s throwback is just what the doctor (New) Order(ed)!

Runs until Friday 10 September 2021

Snappy words: Fringe theatre as it should be

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The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. 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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