Theatre review: Ballot Box

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: 'Trash talking the shit out of 2016's political madness', Emily Parker-Barratt's lively look at Brexit sidesteps the weightier issues of the EU referendum vote to focus on the divisions it caused between friends and families '“ in this instance, two young actresses sharing a flat in London.

Paradise in the Vault (Venue 29)

***

Politics enthusiast Lydia (Parker-Barratt) finds EastEnders-watching Molly (Keri Bastiman) almost as frustrating as the fact they can’t pay their rent. They clash over tea and David Dimbleby, their arguments over whether to “stay” or “leave” increasingly fraught.

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While the play’s depiction of Lydia, a condescending pro-EU southerner, and Molly, a less informed potential Brexiteer from Yorkshire, doesn’t delve too deeply into the reasons behind both side’s voting decisions, the writing attempts to explore the complex, often contradictory, nature of people’s political allegiances in a way that is full of humour and empathy.

“How do you sleep at a time like this?” Lydia demands as the election results come out. “By closing my eyes,” Molly replies. Her dry, understated performance perfectly suits the script’s witty moments, even if Lydia’s melodramatic laments feel heightened in comparison. A celebration of female friendship and flatshares, it’s great to see two women centre stage in a genre often populated by young men.

Until 12 August. Today 7:10pm.