Paul T Davies reviews Bacon running at Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh Fringe.
Summerhall, Edinburgh Fringe
From the Finborough Theatre comes Sophie Swithinback’s superb play Bacon. Mark, a keen pupil and well-behaved pupil, and Darren, always in trouble and with a chaotic and challenging home life, become unlikely friends in school. But something more than friendship develops as they could become lovers, but Darren is too damaged by his abusive father and commits acts of violence against Mark. Years later Darren is standing in front of Mark at the coffee shop where Mark now works. Will Mark make a bacon roll and sit down with Darren?
The play is acted to the highest quality. As Mark, Corey Montague – Sholay takes us through teenage discoveries, fears and excitement to the hardening of his heart with utter conviction. William Robinson is equally outstanding as Darren, even at his most damaging we see the pain inflicted on him and why he behaves the way he does, and what he does to protect himself. The two work so well together, subtle nuances telling the feelings underneath.
The play is performed on a see-saw set by Natalie Johnson that reflects the balance they sometimes achieve as well as the imbalance in their relationship, and the strong direction by Matthew Iiiffe is perfectly paced, and the script reveals its secrets beautifully. The final scene is almost unbearably tense, and do please take notice of the trigger warnings. Powerful and tense, this is a play not to be missed.