Murder on the Dancefloor
- Gareth K Vile
- 27 August 2019
Difficult return to the Fringe from last year's champions
Last year, Spies Like Us announced their arrival at the Fringe with two confident shows that presented their mixture of physical theatre and script to impressive effect. However, Ollie Norton-Smith's script lacks the power of Woyzeck and, despite the company's ferocious energy, fails to enthuse this polemic on the concentration of property in the hands of the older generation.
While the ensemble capture the naïve optimism and pessimism of the millennials who find themselves in the shadows of their elders, they are less convincing in the older roles, and their choreographic interludes has less impact: there is a sense of dynamism towards no clear end, and the plot slips into unnecessary extremity towards the end, wasting the naturalistic examination of lives under pressure in a bloodbath that doesn't emerge from the characterisation but a need to force a dramatic finale.
The broad scope of Murder on the Dancefloor, especially in those scenes which examine post-university lives, is lost both to the polemical message – which is morally ambiguous and reads like a petulant complaint against parents – and the sudden shift into slapstick violence. Spies Like Us retain something of their individual identity, but squander it on a production that meanders and values chasing around over chasing down a consistent narrative line.
Pleasance Courtyard, run ended.