Overwrought, overwritten trio of monologues
This article is from 2012.
Playwright Emily Jenkins can’t resist a flourish. In Rainbow, three vaguely interlinked monologues, barely a noun goes unadorned and awkward similes come thick and fast. Like ill-educated cheetahs.
If someone sweats, it’s ‘like a horny pig’. Breasts are ‘like erupting molehills’. Someone turns red ‘like the girl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ presumably Violet Beauregarde, who morphs into a blueberry.
Irritating though this is, Rainbow’s real flaw is in not revealing its purposes. Its three characters – a debt-collector with a fondness for Radio 4, a bullied schoolboy seeking a safe-space and a seedy teacher trying his luck with a pupil – have too little in common for thematic resonance. As their respective stories skim each other’s edges, so that characters and locations recur, the connections and echos are too slight for Rainbow to add up to more than the sum of its parts.
Jenkins directs this clunky production herself and too often her cast play the surface emotions before telling the story, making Rainbow seem overwrought as well as overwritten.
Zoo Southside, 662 6892, until 27 Aug, 4.45pm, £9 (£7).