BritishTheatre

Published on

August 11, 2018

REVIEW: The Approach, Assembly Hall, Edinburgh Fringe ✭✭✭✭

By

markludmon

Mark Ludmon reviews Mark O'Rowe's latest play The Approach at Assembly Hall at Edinburgh Fringe

The Approach review Edinburgh Fringe

The Approach at Edinburgh Fringe. Photo: Patrick Redmond The Approach

 Assembly Hall, Edinburgh Fringe



Four stars

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In its dissection of friendship and relationships, Mark O'Rowe's new play The Approach feels almost voyeuristic. Covering four years, it features three women who, in a series of different pairings, meet in a coffee shop in Dublin to catch up on each others' news. From the banal to the deeply personal, it feels like we are eavesdropping on normal conversations that, bit by bit, suggest raw emotions and pain beneath the light, gossipy tone.

The trio - sisters Anna and Denise and their friend Cora - have a long history together, dating back to a halcyon time when they were young, happy and single. Now approaching middle age, they are navigating difficult relationships that feel like a response to the loneliness left after the loss of their youthful closeness. But, as they chat about diets and Dublin life, the facts are fleeting and shifting. The women's stories emerge as fragments of their past and present come out in what Cora calls their "deep chats". Some details are left obscure or unspoken, suggesting painful memories that none of them can talk about. This makes The Approach, with its compact 65-minute running time, an intense experience like trying to pick apart the puzzle of an overhead conversation.

The strength of the production lies in three restrained but subtly powerful performances from Cathy Belton, Aisling O'Sullivan and Derbhle Crotty. Directed by the author, they turn the seemingly everyday chats into an exquisitely nuanced exploration of complex relationships where past traumas and resentments have put up frustrating barriers to genuine closeness.

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The British Theatre website has been established to celebrate the rich and diverse theatrical culture of the United Kingdom.  Our ethos revolves around encouraging and nurturing the performing arts in all its forms. The spirit of theatre is very much alive and the British Theatre website is at the forefront of delivering news and information to audiences and enthusiasts everywhere. Our team of theatre journalists and reviewers are working hard to cover productions and news.


We are constantly developing the site and are always open to receiving feedback from our readers. Join our mailing list to be kept informed of all the latest news that is of interest to you..

ABOUT BRITISHTHEATRE

BritishTheatre.com
Opening Night Media Ltd
3rd Floor, 80 St. Martin’s Lane
Covent Garden
London WC2N 4AA

The British Theatre website has been established to celebrate the rich and diverse theatrical culture of the United Kingdom.  Our ethos revolves around encouraging and nurturing the performing arts in all its forms. The spirit of theatre is very much alive and the British Theatre website is at the forefront of delivering news and information to audiences and enthusiasts everywhere. Our team of theatre journalists and reviewers are working hard to cover productions and news.


We are constantly developing the site and are always open to receiving feedback from our readers. Join our mailing list to be kept informed of all the latest news that is of interest to you..