The Unmarried – Edinburgh Festival until 28th August
Review by Bella Stone
Waiting to go into The Bunker theatre, it was evident that this piece attracted a young audience, a swarm of twenty somethings hurried to get inside to be confronted with the atmosphere of a rave. A vibrant array of disco lights covered the stage and auditorium as ‘Do you really like it?’ by DJ Pied Piper was playing. It was unsurprising that the first scene sees our lead Luna, a vision in silver lycra, played by Lauren Gauge who also wrote the piece, in a night club, where the atmosphere was beautifully created before the show even started. This is where Luna has a one night stand with ‘fun fuck Pete’, who unbeknown to her becomes her future partner of seven years.
Lauren Gauge’s piece is raw and representative of the younger generation, particularly women. It was inspiring to see such strong writing by a woman about women, especially in an attempt to tackle the idea of conformity. Gauge acknowledges that it is okay as a woman to have sexual needs and desires just as strong as men, and to not settle for the life of a housewife age twenty-five. What appeared upon first glance to be a simple story: a young woman’s transition from her party days to facing marriage and motherhood, was told in such an alluring way. Gauge’s use of rhyming couplets bought a beautiful poeticism to the piece that at times juxtaposed the crude language her character Luna actually used.
Gauge in the role of Luna was enticing, we were drawn in by her honesty and naturalism making her the unlikely heroine of the piece. Even when at times the character of Luna makes some questionable decisions we, as the audience, back her a hundred percent, as Gauge brings a great likability to the role. Special mention must go to Georgia Bliss and Haydn-Sky Bauzon who make up the band in this piece but also act as an ensemble. Bliss’ vocals are unique and extremely current, accompanied by Bauzon’s impeccable beatboxing, they both create the party vibe that runs throughout the piece, bringing alive the genre of gig theatre. Both also, at times act as a greek chorus, watching and commenting on Luna whilst also simultaneously being involved in the action, an extremely clever concept derived by director, Niall Philips.
Philips’ direction is quirky and innovative in this piece, he uses props symbolically, most poignantly at the five-year mark in Luna and Pete’s relationship, where he dresses Luna in an apron as they start to move in together, symbolising the role that society would expect a woman to take at this stage. His ability to effortlessly fuse both genres of spoken word and gig theatre is most prominent after a burst of music when Luna feels entrapped by a boring, stereotypical life in ‘sober celibacy’. Upon this revelation Bliss and Bauzon physically tangle Gauge up in their mic wires showing the entrapment Luna feels whilst fusing the musical themes with Luna’s journey throughout the piece.
An Edinburgh Must-See!
To conclude, this piece is a definite must-see for Edinburgh. This is a great showcase for a superbly talented Lauren Gauge who has written, produced and performed her work. She has created a piece for the younger generation, challenging the ideas of our patriarchs in a comedic, high energy and musical fashion. Gauge encourages us to enjoy being young and to constantly challenge ideals as, as Luna says, ‘A life without lust is like bread with no crust’.
Lauren Gauge and LWL Entertainment Ltd.
Tickets from £7.30
(includes £0.80 in fees per ticket)
Contains strobe lighting and some strong language.