New writing that wonders about what can be
New-writing company Bellow Theatre return to the Fringe with Bare Skin on Briny Waters, a play told from the perspective of two women, Annie and Sophie. They are, to all intents, strangers, but their paths have crossed at several key moments in their lives. Their stories tackle the idea of settling, of finding yourself in a life you didn't choose, from the point of view of twentysomethings.
Annie (Charlie Sellers) is in London for work when she receives news about her boyfriend who is in a coma. Sophie (Maureen Lennon) is in a relationship that's stopping her sleeping. The actors are both captivating storytellers, their tales might not be remarkable but they make them thoroughly relatable and this one day in their lives is loaded with significance. Sophie interweaves her life with the tale of Arabian Nights, a neat nod to unsuitable suitors and the power of storytelling.
The play opens with an original song by musician Tabitha Mortiboy, who remains on stage throughout but seems a bit underused. The staging is simple, just a stone bench and a pool of water made from broken mirrors, and the actors movements around the space complement the simple aesthetic. It's expertly paced, with revelations throughout the play to draw you further in to the women's fate. An excellent piece of new writing that challenges you to ask 'is there more?'.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug, 1pm, £8.50--£10 (£7.50--£8.50).