Theatre review: The Bearpit

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: The world is crumbling and so is a couple's relationship.

ZOO Southside (Venue 82)


To everyone else they may look like the ideal match, with the pet names, shared political opinions and approaching wood anniversary. They are, as they put it, like “chalk and chalk”, just two more white middle-class Londoners.

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Performer-devisers Nic McQuillan and Flora Marston’s sharp and cynical script starts extremely promisingly with a cascade of turbulent dialogue, which offers an uncompromisingly bleak but sharp and funny view of a relationship gone wrong. Their inability to communicate is juxtaposed with the increasing environmental chaos outside, hinting at the fact that we create the kind of world we want to live in.

However, quite what’s worth saving about the couple’s relationship, which becomes increasingly dysfunctional, is unclear – and the story runs out of places to go as a result. McQuillan and Marston are both polished performers, and physical theatre sequences between scenes build an enjoyable sense of theatricality.

The writing has a lot of promise, but would benefit from characters that are able to develop beyond being just another young man and woman who have fallen out of love – as delicious as some of their vitriolic one-liners are.

Until 19 August. Today 3:05pm.