Sorry and UnderLINE at The Bear Hotel, Wincanton

YOU don’t expect to go to the nightclub/ disco/farmer’s market venue in Wincanton on a Sunday afternoon to see an Edinburgh Fringe style – and standard – show, but that’s what happened on 29th September, when Fringe Files put on their inventive play UnderLINE.

The matinee started with Stuart Lyddon’s solo piece Sorry, the unfolding story of a troubled man and the burdens that life has put on him. It maintained both interest and tension for the 40 minutes, and its poignant ending left the audience quiet.

Stuart also directed UnderLINE, Michael Starr’s three hander set in a railway carriage and performed by Quentin Mitchell, Andrew Meadows and Adam Holland.

Just when you think you know what is happening, you discover you don’t in this clever time play.

Norman is the world’s most annoying man, boarding the same Tube every morning to open his shop just beyond Baker Street station, whistling the same tune, reading the paper, laughing and trying to make his ancient mobile phone connect him with his wife.

Ben is the youngest, a coil of nervous energy and suspicion, sometimes asking Norman to borrow the paper, sometimes eyeballing Theo.

And Theo is a thug, a menacing hood who seems to be trying to escape with his girlfriend to a better life.

But while all of them are aiming to get off at Baker Street, nothing is resolved.

Is this constantly changing scenario, separated by strobe lighting, what happens day after day or are we (and they) in a loop.

Ben tries to solve the problem, but it’s not until technology stutters to a standstill that we know what is happening in this fascinating short play, wonderfully performed by the three actors.

The Fringe Files hope that UnderLINE, described as a psychological thriller, may go north of the border next Summer. Michael Starr writes most of the work performed by the occasional group. Look out for them.



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