February 26, 2024

Fast Film Noir – theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe #Edfringe @brainytheatre

Catch Fast Film Noir Now – final performance 10th August

I love a good film noir. Proof if proof were needed – I was watching one only last night. When I noticed in the huge Edinburgh Festival brochure that there was a play called Fast Film Noir I had to investigate. The subtitle is The Quick Nap, which might give you the idea that it is based on The Big Sleep.

If ever there was a film that would be hard to perform as a play then it has to be The Big Sleep. The plot is so convoluted that it is claimed that when the screenwriters asked the original author Raymond Chandler who killed one of the characters he had no idea. Braindead Theatre have then taken on a big project, but the nine actors are up to the task, and recreate the atmosphere of 30s LA enticingly. OK, I admit I have never been to LA in the 30s, but the atmosphere they create on stage, from the wiggling dancers to the shadowy silhouettes filter LA through noir sensibilities and give us what we think it was like then from all the films.

If you know the film then some of the changes are shocking. General Sternwood has become a woman, though her ailments and love of whisky remain. But much of the repartee remains, as do many of the scenes, including the book-store where Munroe somehow seduces a girl by asking her to remove her glasses. If you don’t know the film then some of the action will be confusing – but then its that way in the film until you’ve seen it several times.

This is an enjoyable period piece, bringing the old noir motifs to life at the space@Venue45. A gravelly voice-over by Stefan Fletcher drives the action forward and adds to the film noir come to life feel of the production. The femmes are all very fatale, Skye Hallam-Hankin’s accent as Evelyn is suitably Bacallian and the guys are as hardbitten as any noir fan could hope for. Taking on a role synonymous with Humphrey Bogart is a challenge for any actor, but with a pin-striped suit and trilby Nick Brown makes the character believable.

A soundtrack of swing and jazz mixes bounces along all the way through, adding to the fun. If you’ve ever recorded a late-night noir on TV then you’ll enjoy this.

 

63 Jeffrey Street

8.35pm

only on until the 10th August

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