Pack your case full of limbs, handgun in its holster, bleach in your knapsack, and all aboard the NovemberUnderground! In the not too distant future, where a corpse is both a mild inconvenience and welcome talking point, a group of detached individuals do their best to reconnect.
The plot clatters along at speed, surging through a number of electric encounters. The framing device for these meetings are the characters’ disparate connections with the eponymous NovemberUnderground movement. A terrorist group so well known yet shrouded in mysterious you’d think it was viral marketing campaign gone murderously wrong. The play is built upon these tension-fuelled interactions. The actors devour the writing with visible relish, firing lines at each other with controlled vigour.
Padraig (Peter Mooney) plays the role as a dispassionate grim reaper figure, the deadpan face of death clothed in an Iron Maiden t-shirt, scythe replaced with gardening shears. The ensuing post-mortem discussions with his uncomfortable assistant Darick (Robert Kirbey) are engagingly off-beat and dementedly droll. Their debates on dismemberment and proper body-snatching attire trip off the tongue.
One of the many highlights of the piece comes in the form of Neil (Ed Thorpe), another of the murderous clean-up crew, attempting a ballsy flirtation over blood splattered sheets. He is endeavouring to seal a romantic connection while essentially standing within a chalk outline. Determination like this can only be admired. Clara (Imogen Hudson-Clayton) and Tim (Harry Owens) are the swift-witted backbone of this articulate ensemble. Exuding viscous levels of chemistry throughout, this compelling couple hold the piece together.
The scene changes are gratifyingly speedy between these compelling encounters, accompanied by some inexplicably fitting pop. If there must be a black out, by all means let it be a Backstreet Boys blackout. NovemberUnderground establishes a riveting world, its streets teeming with captivating characters, paved with a deviant allure.
Novemberunderground is playing at Underbelly Cowgate as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival until 25 August. For more information and tickets, please see the Edinburgh Fringe Website.