DIGS

An unsteady comedy about Generation Rent

★★
theatre review | Read in About 2 minutes
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DIGS
Published 16 Aug 2017

On the back wall of the theatre are a mass of jumbled fairy lights. Like the lives of people in shared spaces, they are messily, inseparably tangled.

Jess Murrain and Lucy Bairstow present a series of duos struggling with limited living conditions. An uptight landlady and an edgy lodger who talk at rather than to each other. Two perfectly presented lesbians whose facade cracks as they repeat the words of a scene with a different tone. A single girl, finally with a space of her own, who can’t sleep because of the urban noise.

The comedy goes some way to displaying the pressures of living with another, but the characters aren’t quite full, funny or clever enough to shatter stereotypes or produce belly laughs. By displaying straightforward stereotypes of millennials, Theatre with Legs do little to transcend those typical narratives.

The sketches don't push hard enough at Murrain and Bairstow's frustrations. The domestics simmer but rarely boil. Moments of song present potential for more original work, but the scenes aren't given enough space to build. The devised scenes are neither cohesive nor absurdly scrambled enough to have an identity, resulting in a tangle much like the mass of fairy lights.

The addition of microphones, a sprinkling of glitter and nakedness demonstrate attempts at crossing into more innovative ground, but the half-hearted aesthetic experiments are more like a deposit than a solid month’s rent.