Believable take on the hazy suspended reality of a messy night out
This article is from 2010.
An otherworldly pair of twins with only one heart between them, a couple whose sexual closeness is as great as their emotional disjunction, two people with the uneasy taste of a one-night stand still in the backs of their mouths, and ex-best friends who’ve grown apart, simultaneously wanting to recapture the good times and faintly repulsed by what the other has become. These four people form the twisted square that is Ella Hickson’s third Fringe play.
Familiar and at the same time insightful, this piece is characterised by a rare naturalness, both in the writing and the acting. Hickson’s much-lauded dialogue is frequently very funny while also being believable in the mouths of her characters. Somewhat removed from reality by the gaps it leaves – the unnamed island setting and occasional lyrical arcs of narrative – Hot Mess at the same time feels so very real. In the way lovers feel like every lyric on the radio is all about them, and a song about anything can match a night out so perfectly, the music in this nightclub setting (played by a live DJ) does not feel contrived, but serves rather to heighten the heady emotional intensity of a fine play.
Hawke and Hunter, 226 0000, until 30 Aug (not 28), 6pm, £9 (£7.50).