Review: Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia - Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Pic: Comp
Claustrophobia - Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Pic: Comp
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WHAT could be worse than being trapped in a lift? Being trapped in an equally claustrophobic venue watching two people trapped in a lift, that’s what.

* *

ZOO, THE PLEASANCE

Starring Jessica MacDonald and Paul Tinto as the entrapped occupants, once the predictably awkward small talk is cast aside, we quickly discover what makes them tick. Where the woman is panicky, fidgety and feeling threatened, the man is cool, aloof and intimidating. Of course, there’s no mobile-phone signal and no-one is going to answer their shouts for help.

With just a white outline to mark the lift’s dimensions, it is to the actors’ credit that they give a sense of the suffocating enclosure of their imaginary environment. Just like the lift, though, even the brief moving-in-slow-motion-under-moody-lighting segments don’t really go anywhere.

Control, tension, and being cooped up in a tight confined space may be the intention. But when things literally go nowhere - and when you’re presented with a crushingly disappointing ending - you can’t but feel unsatisfied.

My advice? Take the stairs instead.

Until 25 August