Theatre review: The Accident Did Not Take Place, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Every day, the three members of the Manchester-based Yes Yes No No theatre company invite a different guest actor to take part in their show, opening with a gentle interview

A show with great potential that it can't quite unlock
A show with great potential that it can't quite unlock

The Accident Did Not Take Place, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh * *

They begin to put their guest through a gruelling half-hour process in which they re-enact, six or seven times, a short scene set in the passenger cabin of a plane plummeting towards destruction, with the three company members constantly switching roles, and each “director” asking for a repeat performance that will help him/her “feel” what is happening.

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Then, against an escalating soundtrack by SHAR, the show switches towards a long sequence in which the guest is asked to show how she/he looks in various different situations, moving towards a conclusion that seems to involve ideas about the unique presence and preciousness of each human being. The Accident Did Not Take Place never really disentangles its sense of catastrophe from its thoughts on drama and repetition, and its reflections on love and human uniqueness; and it often seems more like a series of dramatic exercises than a fully fledged show. Yet there is plenty of talent and potential on view here too; in a theatrical event that never quite takes place, but nonetheless sketches out a space where something interesting might happen, in the near future.

Until 26 August