Like Dolphins Can Swim, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

When they were kids, Alice promised Sam that when they were grown, they would still hang out and play superheroes. Now they’re uni students home for the summer, and have both changed a lot since that promise. But Alice turns up in Sam’s back garden to make good.

Her heart’s not in the game, though. They play a bit, then argue. They play some more, and argue again. Wash, rinse, repeat. Little happens and the narrative breathes just enough to avoid flatlining. On top of this issue, the use of a totally unnecessary, surprise dramaturgical choice contributes little to a story that is fundamentally about how their friendship has changed and Alice has become less tolerant of his controlling bullshit. 

Sam clearly fancies Alice, and the story is more focused on his emotional journey than hers – frustratingly anti-feminist tropes all around. She’s more mature, and he constantly treats her like a sidekick, both in and out of their superhero alter egos. It’s clear why she has limited patience for him, but Sam never really gets it. 

The performances are inconsistent, with their arguing largely limited to detached sarcasm rather than genuine rage. The actor playing Sam bottles his emotions rather than expressing them, and Alice mothers him in is moments of faux vulnerability.

There are some genuine moments between the two, and the premise has potential. But the plot and the characters are too badly neglected to foster much interest.

Like Dolphins Can Swim runs through 27 August.
 
The Play’s the Thing UK is committed to covering fringe and progressive theatre in London and beyond. It is run entirely voluntarily and needs regular support to ensure its survival. For more information and to help The Play’s the Thing UK provide coverage of the theatre that needs reviews the most, visit its patreon. 
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s