Another year, another Edinburgh Fringe. This year, however, we can watch a whole host of fringe theatre from the comfort of our homes with the Edinburgh Fringe Online Platform. With Love Island having just left our screens, this could easily fill the reality TV void. Very reminiscent of Channel 4’s The Circle, Get Your Life Back is an extremely well-timed production looking into society during something akin to our UK lockdowns.
Written by Lewis Taylor and Alexandra Craveiro, the production showcases a worldwide event called “The Shutdown”. This production, done entirely with pre-filmed video, tells the story of a group on the game show “Get Your Life Back” where contestants vie to be able to live their lives as they once did before they were stuck inside their homes.
Amy Evans gives a brilliant performance as Jolene, the stereotypical content creator who streams on a gaming site. Tali Stowell too offers a stellar performance as Debbie McGee and I relate to her in my first few weeks of Lockdown; sweats on, junk food out, TV on! Her comedic timing is absolutely on point. Tom Lafferty as Clive Valentine captures all the nuances of the stereotypical game show host and helps move the story forward at regular intervals.
These characters bring with them a refined social commentary on how people in the UK and elsewhere have been dealing with national lockdowns, all while shining a light on our stereotypical behaviours. This is shown particularly well in the opening montage where contestants are seen working from home, baking or doing yoga workouts. Each contestant is provided with an AI system called Orbit (Very similar to Amazon’s Alexa) in which they receive their instructions and the ability to communicate with the other contestants. The difference between the thoughts the contestants are having at home versus the ones they were willing to share is displayed intriguingly.
However, this production doesn’t quite live up to its hype. While the characters mentioned above are standouts, some storylines fail to draw me in as much. Though the production is only a short fifty minutes long, it still feels stretched. The laughs are only intermittent and if they were more consistent, I believe I would stay engaged for far longer.
Get Your Life Back is playing Edinburgh Fringe online until 31 of August 2021. For more information and tickets, see The Edinburgh Fringe Website.