Trans Penine, 2 Stars

Trans Penine
theSpace on North Bridge – Argyll Theatre
18:20

“Trans Pennine is a funny, fast-paced, and emotional play about family disagreements, gender-identity, and caravan holidays. Following her death, the family begrudgingly go to scatter Mum’s ashes in the Yorkshire Dales – a commemoration of a wife and mother none of them liked. Their bitter and fateful journey takes them to the caravan site of past family holidays, where secrets are revealed, truths are unearthed, and their relationships, identities, and prejudices are tested to the full. Dad is angry, Ben is Amy and Mum is in the margarine tub.”

Review by Richard Lambert, 2 Stars

The venue is a hotel meeting room which hosts one of the nicest lighting rigs on the Fringe. All LED high quality ETC Lustres and Colour Source.

Trans Penine has a very predictable plot – it’s sweet but fails to find the punch in the plot that the actors desperately want to deliver. With a script that see-saws from Directorial asides, to narration, to actually acting out the scenes: its a hotch potch of script techniques that struggles to find focus.

The play starts with an apology for the minimal set and a narrated description, then we’re told the play starts. In one flashback scene the deceased mother arrives and cries with her son but when this character hasn’t previously engaged with the audience it’s difficult to empathise. Another scene change was a sort of interpretative dance body wiggle in blue light to get us into a new scene – almost comedy sketch show but without the atmosphere of a comedy club. All these, and many more asides are quite distracting. I’d have liked to see a simpler treatment of the story with more sincerity.

The cast of 3 includes the writer, Ian Tucker-Bell, playing Ben.

The acting is very good and the message of the show is a good one – if dad can accept his son becoming trans-gender then so should society.

Cast list unknown
Production list unknown
Production Photos not supplied to Ed Fringe Media

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