Globophobia[author-post-rating] (3/5 Stars)

I know I shouldn’t be, but I can’t help but to sometimes feel a little sceptical when it comes to new writing at the Fringe. There’s so much new writing from companies that there’s naturally going to be a fair amount of fluff. In the case of Globophobia by Dave Fargnoli and Lindsay Miller, their collaborative writing pulsates with the sense of enjoyment that you get from a play that feels has a distinct voice. The characters are all in situations that need an outcome: a couple trying for a baby but failing; a couple stuck on a train after a funeral; two lonely individuals finding companionship in their empty lives. Excellently directed by Amy Gilmartin, and with a cast of fine young Scottish actors, there’s a sense that Fargnoli and Miller are onto something with Globophobia.

In the small space at Sweet Venues (a new addition to this year’s Fringe), there’s a closeness and energy to be experienced from Globophobia. For those that don’t know, the title comes from the fear of balloons, often resulting in someone being unable to share the same space as them. There are other fears represented in the characters’ quirky personae: the fear of vomit, an anxiety for those you love, and a strong dislike of hair growth. There’s a feeling of weight; it’s a pressure that the characters themselves are held under, or a darkness within the palette of the writing. Fargnoli and Miller often have characters speaking of bleak and dystopian environments that naturally paint a grim existence, but this is paired with light touches of humour that keep the work from being completely locked within its grimness.

At times there’s a feeling that the writing is trying too hard – it is often too poetic for its own good – but this will slip away with other writing and rewrites should the work proceed further. From the cast there are considerable sympathetic characters, and it’s hard to hold up one cast member over another in terms of skill or abilities. To put it simply, this is a strong cast with a strong text, with Gilmartin’s direction bringing out the work further.

Globophobia is playing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For more information and tickets, see the Edinburgh Fringe website.