Bump

Wed 5th – Mon 31st August 2015

reviews

Genevieve Cox

at 14:43 on 17th Aug 2015

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Bump is a young, fun, humourous, on-stage ‘Rom Com’ that provides laugh-out-loud enjoyment in the exploration of what happens when two individuals, Eliana (Oriana Charles) and Ian (Andrew Hollingworth) accidently “bump” – or “bang”! – each other in a sudden car-crash. This accidental “bumping” leads to a warm and light-hearted tale of two separate characters with separate lives, two colliding “particles”, who are now either ‘fated’ to be forever connected in a “quantum entanglement”.

This show starred some brilliant acting as two central characters ‘bumped’ off each other through parallel reactions, overlapping speech, echoes, mirrored actions, and dancing in doubles. Hollingworth was particularly fantastic - he gave an especially charismatic performance, awkwardly trying to impress his crush yet simultaneously managing to charm the audience with his flirtatious eye-contact and cheeky attitude.

As well as being incredibly well-acted, the design of set, props, costume and script was fantastically planned and manipulated by Daniel Gonner. There was a notably clever use of matching props; similar clothing with the recurrent colour-scheme of black, white and red; coordinated iPhones with ring-tones and alarms; and dual-purpose sound effects that effectively linked initially separate scenes and stories into a single performance.

In addition to this skilful technical and physical co-ordination, the script was cleverly devised and developed. Intelligent manipulation enabled actors to echo each other’s thoughts whilst simultaneously expressing their individual opinions; they could add dual meaning and innuendo to a single phrase; broadcast and speed-up thought-processes and actions to witty and fun effect.

There were, undeniably, some slight hiccups in prop-drops and slightly clumsy scene changes, however these were covered-up with ease to produce a performance that was thoroughly enjoyable and easy-to-watch. Moreover, its unexpected angle of severity, an addition at the very end – with implications of marriage, pregnancy and potential abortion – offered a potentially deeper insight and provided a cliff-hanger ending to this fun, witty, and thoroughly-delightful piece of theatrical entertainment, leaving you wanting more.

Overall, this production employed several comic methods – slap-stick in its skilfully-choreographed and executed physical theatre and dance routines; speed of both speech and action; double-acts; ridicule through hyperbolic excess and exaggeration; role-reversal of gender and stereotype; and verbal puns – to enforce and heighten its humorous atmosphere. Thus this compelling compilation produced a down-to-earth, universally-accessible and thoroughly-enjoyable piece of theatre. In a nutshell, a brilliant performance complete with fun, relatable comedy of the naturally awkward and clumsy human nature; not unmissable yet definitely recommendable for a light-hearted indulgence at the Fringe this year!

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Ed Grimble

at 14:53 on 17th Aug 2015

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Quantum entanglement is the phenomenon by which two previously separate particles begin instead to behave as a co-existing unit, and any previous independence they had is replaced by a unifying system. This is the underlying theme of Buckle Up Theatre Company’s show Bump, and, for the most part, entertaining and lighthearted look into the way we operate in new relationships, and the quotidian stresses and strains of modernity.

The heart of this production is the chemistry and synchronicity between cast Oriana Charles, playing the attractive, career driven young woman Eliana; and Andrew Hollingworth, as charming but somewhat gormless PC World employee Ian. Scenes where the two appear in direct interaction are wonderfully smooth; both have such an energetic and natural stage presence that it is a refreshing watch for the audience.

More impressive, however, is how the two make use of the shared space of the stage during scenes where Eliana and Ian are physically apart. Both busily go through their morning routines in isolation, moving swiftly in between one another with an astonishing lack of effort. Director Michael Woodwood, as well his cast, should be highly commended on the choreography of the performance, which certainly gave the impression of having been timed meticulously down to the second. Without risk of spoiling it, the television channel montage is magnificent. This way in which the lives of the two individuals seem inextricably linked is bound up with the play’s focus on fate and the extent to which two autonomous beings can still find themselves being pulled and held together.

Bump is also intrigued by the tendency to keep thoughts and feelings to ourselves, and the conflict therein between our interior emotions and what we present to the world around us. The play exploits the audience as mute listener in this regard, and both characters regularly turn down stage and express what they actually think about a given situation. Usually the resulting contrast is funny, but at rare poignant moments it is quite touching to see Eliana’s chronic reluctance to tell Ian the truth. It is just a shame that these moments of emotional hardship come in one great swathe in the final ten minutes of the play, and put something of a contrived damper on the joviality of what had come before.

Bump is a solid piece of theatre that is well worth a watch if you find yourself near the Pleasance Dome over the next few weeks.

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