Scarborough performed at the Adelaide Fringe Festival is directed by Martha Lott, written by Fiona Evens and performed by Emily Banford and Sebastian Freeman.
Lauren and Daz are lovers with a secret. A secret that keeps them locked up in their hotel room in the beach side town of Scarborough where they came to get away. They have transgressed the boundaries and their relationship is in shaky territory.
Over the course of the weekend, through a series of vignettes, the tensions, power struggles and insecurities of Lauren (played by Emily Branford) and Daz (played by Sebastian Freeman) are played out. They are both, in their own way, vulnerable. Branford and Freeman are excellent in their portrayals of characters entwined in an unhealthy love affair.
The set (really the board room of the neighbouring Nature Association of SA Inc.) is such a claustrophobic and intimate space you feel too self-conscious to cough. You can reach out and touch the actors, you can see what they were reading over their shoulders and the seemingly secret glances that they give each other. The mixture is the discomfort and intrigue of the voyeur.
At first this intimacy and being thrown into the intensity of the scene jars you, for the story is elliptical, showing you the final scene first before taking you back to the scenes leading up to that. At first the action and the dialogue seem unreal and stilted, but soon you are in the theatrical moment as secrets are revealed, passions mapped and depth of character plumbed.
Scarborough remains true to its English origin, with the actors taking on British accents and reading The Sun and British magazines. However, the set could be any cheap hotel or motel room, anywhere.
The direction and choreography is tight in this kind of space, the actors working hard to seamlessly not bump or step into the audience as they dance, cuddle and fight their way from scene to scene. Director Martha Lott has done a great job to bring out the emotional tension in this piece.
For the loaded nature of the relationship between the two characters (audiences may make their own judgements) the play pulls no moral punches, leaving the audience to question for themselves. This is a piece which will leave you thinking, and whose emotional force will not leave you easily.
Director: Martha Lott
Writer: Fiona Evans
Performers: Emily Banford and Sebastian Freeman
Production: Kate McRostie
Scarborough will be playing March 1-5, 6-8, 10-15, 17-22 at 7pm and 8pm on 8 March, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm other nights. The show is playing at The Manse at Holden Street Theatres, 34 Holden Street, Hindmarsh.