One of the first performances of the 2017 Bath Fringe, Crush by Rob Young promised to keep the audience ‘laughing from start to finish’.
A statement they definitely managed to deliver on with a mixture of crude sexual humour and wittily crafted innuendos. It was a piece which fit the younger audience of the night’s performance.
Crush follows the story of workplace bitch Celia, played aggressively domineering by Shaunagh Shannon, and her office colleague and self-appointed ‘boyfriend’ Johnny. Sami Edris brought a personality to the character of Johnny, who could easily have turned into the eternally friendzoned gullible softie. Although hopelessly besotted, asthmatic and tortured by the fear of drowning, there was a glint in his demeanour which seemed to foreshadow a drastic character development.
Well written characters and strong actors were definitely the driving force of this piece. As well as this, it manages to pull off being almost entirely driven by narrative monologue which can often make the audience feel as though they are being lead comfortably through the action. Here the way characters addressed the audience, often talking directly to an individual fitted in well to the comedic format.
However, as already mentioned, Crush is a work of comedy and in my opinion it often tried to be something it was clearly not. The push to let it blossom into an emotional and dramatic story simply made it bounce between a variety of themes and subjects. There was an attempt to tell the audience who the characters were, rather than letting the actors work with the script they were given and the comedic ability they obviously have.
Despite that, Crush hit right into the light-hearted, dirty humour that I love so much and it was fantastic to have the whole room laugh with you.
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Reviewer: Alexandra Wilbraham