"Cutting Edge Comedy Rocks Brighton"
by Sascha Cooper for remotegoat on 08/05/19

In a time of uncertainty politically and otherwise, it is not often one comes across a very rare gem that Brighton Fringe has to offer in terms of sharp observational comedy. Meet Prescariat Theatre, who bring in this very genre in the style of four completely different characters, separate monologues, but with events that link them together in more ways than one. We saw a self absorbed politician, a wannabe actress and theatre company owner, a straight talking business woman on the verge of a breakdown and a musician who is surviving working in a job centre.

Every single actor involved had the audience in the palm of their hands as the show progressed and were clearly not afraid to be bold and contraversial in their characterizations. All this was helped by the late writer Michael Ross, who passed away recently. This current version of the show was in his memory and as I found out afterwards, this piece was going to be expanded more. However after watching this masterpiece, I would personally advise the company to keep the length and writing as it is. It has the perfect combination of satire, drama, insight, political comedy and more.

Rachel Bothamley and James McKendrick took a strong down to earth approach with this show in their vision. No complications and a simple set of a table and two chairs made it easy to focus on the high energy of the actors and the emotional rollercoaster that took place in front of us. The way McKendrick clearly makes the actors feel supported on stage as a director is lovely to see, especially as the whole cast clearly enjoyed the whole experience and their engagement with the audience made their energy rub off on us.

Nicholas Stafford played ambitious politician Adam. He really exuded the stereotypical attitude the media only hints at today, plus added a good dash of being human with it. The strength Stafford has is honesty, albeit brutal at times. This in itself made his character well rounded and extremely enjoyable to watch - especially when he talked about his brother who goes against everything he stands for with with the most delicious frustration ever. There was also a certain hint in his character of Rowan Atkinson's Blackadder which added an extra darker edge with charm overload.

Miranda Evans played musician Kirsty, who survives working in a job centre. This character is one which you would love to succeed in the music industry, but some of her personal choices are questionable. Evans brings a certain realness to Kirsty in how she views people who are slackers and actively compares how she used to be when she was in their shoes - a fellow slacker. Interestingly she has a more engaging journey of awakening compared to the others when she slowly sees her boyfriend Jamie in a new way and whilst Evans captures her strength, she beautifully captures her vunerability as she gradually shares her real self to us.

Emily Bates had Jane - our stressed out business woman who seems to be the most lost out of all characters portrayed. In the beginning, she seems the most confident and self assured, but as things progress, it becomes clear through Bates' sensitive portrayal of her that she wants to feel accepted, loved and wanted. Her childlike frustrations are at times shocking to watch as she clearly generalises everything, but despite the initial reaction, we empathised with her as she said viewpoints that most people do have, but are afraid to say. A strong portrayal meant a brave actress to take this leap of faith emotionally, and all I will say is that she, Kirsty and Willow are massively linked...

Finally, cast newcomer Poppy Allen-Quarmby played creative Willow. From what I gathered, this wonderful actress joined the cast four weeks beforehand and she looked as if she had been with the company for years. Her free spirited approach as she tries to focus on her theatre company and acting without having to work was engaging and entertaining to watch. Again, she is the tenuous link between the other characters, but by the end we work out she has a much bigger role to play than she lets on. To find out how, you need to watch this show! Allen-Quarmby clearly challenges herself and her character as she holds nothing back about the fact she just wants to keep on benefits and nothing more. She may look innocent, but there is moreto her than meets the eye. She is an actress with a very bright future.

This is definitely a clear Fringe highlight so far and would strongly recommend you watch this before the run finishes.

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