The Breakfast Plays at the Traverse are a chance for emerging writers to test their work with an audience. Throughout the Fringe, there are a choice of four different plays performed as script-in-hand readings; full listings can be found on the Traverse website.
This time, the play is Mooning by Scottish-based playwright Erin McGee. Mooning explores life in a cult which is interrupted by the presence of an undercover documentary maker.
This play has much of what you could hope for from a Fringe performance: an unusual story, a chance to see a new work by an emerging playwright, and an exploration of bigger themes. But it is interesting to see a play at this stage in development, something you rarely see at the Fringe. Although there are only three actors seated on an empty stage, you quickly forget they are reading from ring binders and start to imagine the dark world the characters inhabit. You get the sense that the actors are testing the audience, and trying different ways of delivering certain sections.
Although obviously intended as a short play, it is perhaps a bit too short, finishing before its advertised end time – it would have been nice to have more time with these developing characters. Riley (Neshla Caplan), who joins the cult to ‘get a holiday’, is the character you learn most about. Neil is purposefully enigmatic. Sean (Ross Mann), the documentary maker, could perhaps do with more backstory, or more time to converse with Riley.
One of the great benefits of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is that if you want to see theatre at 9am you can. It is a shame to only discover this particular series of shows late on in the festival; assuming the other plays in the series were a similar high standard it is a great way to start the day. Finally, it is worth noting a breakfast roll and hot drink are included with your ticket – arrive early to get the best choice!
Breakfast Plays is on at Traverse Theatre
At 9:00 until 25th August
Book tickets here
Image: Traverse Theatre