Many thanks to the Edinburgh guide for this gorgeous review:
Sonic Boom Theatre
Kenny Boyle and Clare Sheppard (writers), Ben Harrison (director)
Kenny Boyle, Clare Sheppard, Darren Thorpe
Site-specific theatre has become a distinctive genre in recent years on the Fringe – thrilling performances staged in real Edinburgh flats, in cars, buses, at the Airport, on Inchcolm Island. Magical, memorable, intimate drama.
The pioneering Sonic Boom Theatre Company specialises in exciting new scripts, including murder mysteries, to be performed in unconventional, realistic locations.
Their fourth original play, “Forever,” is a gorgeously romantic drama set on Emma and Stephen’s Wedding Day and takes place at St. Columba’s by the Castle. (C venues Too).
The audience is warmly greeted by the smart young usher at the door of the Church, and invited to take a pew on either the bride or groom side of the aisle. I am drawn into the sombre, sedate mood of a marriage service and feel too casually dressed for the occasion. I am not wearing a hat!.
A young man in a formal grey suit with ruche tie, stands nervously near the Alter reciting “I do”, “I do”, “I do” in various tones of voice. The groom practicing his big line?. No, this is Colin the Best Man, worried about what he should say when asked for the ring.
The starting point of this sharply observed romantic comedy is the witty, fast paced repartee between Colin and Stephen the Groom who is his best friend from University. With about ten minutes before the wedding, they chat and joke about useless presents (two toasters and a pasta machine), and googling Best Man speeches.
Stephen also talks seriously about love being so natural and that he and Emma – “My wife,” he exclaims with a smile – will be together forever.
Or will they?
Suddenly a young woman in T shirt and jeans, walks down the aisle – “ I had to see you” she says to Stephen, and his smile vanishes, looking confused, anxious.
This is Vicky, his ex- girlfriend whom he left five years earlier. Happy memories of their loving relationship are revealed, their long lost promise to be together forever had been broken.
No plot spoiler in this review. You’ll have to see the play to find out what happens….
Kenny Boyle as Stephen is totally believable with cheeky, boyish charm and floppy hair, – think Hugh Grant with the accent of John Hannah. He is well partnered by Clare Sheppard as Vicky, the emotionally scarred, hurt, defiant ex-lover. Darren Thorpe is the perfect Best Man, so concerned with trying to help his friend, “you don’t have to go through with this”.
But it’s the Church which adds the icing to the Wedding cake. Here we sit as the couple’s friends in a totally authentic “stage set,” to experience this emotional drama taking place up and down the aisle. A lady beside me had tears in her eyes, it’s all so truthful.!
Echoing acoustics of the vast space assists the atmosphere but at times hinders the sound. For example, when “Vicky” stands at the back of the church, her rapidly spoken lines cannot always be heard in the front row. Clear articulation and slower pace would help.
If you’re a sucker for romantic movies, (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Serendipity, My Best Friend’s Wedding,) you’ll love this wee gem of a play which sparkles like a diamond engagement ring.
18 – 26 August, 3.30pm