Sophie Rose's Fringe debut questions the quotidian
This article is from 2015.
As the audience members enter the compact studio theatre, writer and performer Sophie Rose welcomes them with a benign smile. While testing the microphone, she makes idle conversation about other shows they've seen, biscuits they've enjoyed, establishing the relaxed, intimate atmosphere that marks her debut Fringe production, Quiet Violence.
The play's title refers to the subtle acts of self-sabotage that we all engage in on a daily basis. From enduring uncomfortable shoes to buying cheap toilet roll, Quiet Violence catalogues the many ways in which Sophie makes life harder for herself as she negotiates her relationships with her 'sleazy and goofy' boyfriend Craig and her indolent downstairs neighbour Stanley. It's not theatrically daring, but the show's observational premise makes for several bright moments, culminating in a heartening, if predictable, conclusion.
Rose turns in a skilled performance as the character of the same name, transitioning seamlessly from casual pre-show chat to a commanding yet friendly stage presence. She handles the audience interaction sections with a confident ease, and when re-enacting a petty argument with an unruly child, her comic timing is impeccable.
While the narrative becomes somewhat muddled in places and offers little in the way of innovation, the play remains a enjoyable portrait of the life of a modern twenty-something. With its robust central performance and relatable day-to-day humour, Quiet Violence is a solid Fringe debut.
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