Edinburgh Fringe Review: The Approach, Assembly - subtle, nuanced and utterly compelling
You feel like you are eavesdropping on a conversation at the table next to you - it is utterly compelling and its resonance lingers long after you've left the theatre.
Three women, only ever in pairs, meet in a Dublin cafe for a coffee and a catch-up - not the most magnetic sounding set up on paper but Mark O'Rowe's play, The Approach, is slowly gripping.
Cora (Cathy Belton), Anna (Aisling O’Sullivan) and her sister Denise (Derbhle Crotty) are all friends or least they were really close once.
The years pass all too quickly, things happen - life happens - and now they don’t see as much of each other.
When each pair meets their conversations start with everyday anodyne chit-chat but soon turn to more deeper personal topics such as relationships.
You have to listen carefully for clues as to how much time has passed between meetings - usually marked by relationship statuses.
A particular romantic gesture is a recurring motif and a signifier that something isn't quite straight in what the women are saying.
Despite chat of love and friendship, there is an undercurrent of yearning, loneliness and acceptance. A desire to appear happy and content at least.
O'Rowe's script beautifully captures the naturalness of everyday speech, the performances nuanced and equally natural - no dramatics or stalking the stage here.
And this is the power of this play, you feel like you are eavesdropping on a conversation at the table next to you - it is utterly compelling and its resonance lingers long after you've left the theatre.
The Approach is at 13.25 at the Rainy Hall at Assembly until August 27 (not the 22nd).
More Edinburgh Fringe stuff:
Edinburgh Fringe Review: The poverty trap through the eyes of a teenager in Killymuck
Some things I've learned on my first day at the Fringe
Edinburgh Fringe Review: Ladykiller or how to use gender stereotypes to get away with murder
Edinburgh Fringe Review: The Vanishing Man and The Extinction Event - magic, clever and fun
Peaky Blinders comes to the Edinburgh Fringe in Tobacco Road (review)
A play losing its way in The Journey (Edinburgh Fringe review)