Venue: theSpace Triplex – Jenner Theatre (Venue 38)
Two Ladders Productions brings to the Fringe Embassy Stomp, a WWII-set comedy concerning a war correspondent’s tangled involvement in a plot to assassinate an ambassador. Written and performed by alumni of the University of St Andrews and University of Cambridge, this play is 50 minutes of assured performance, successful gags and bonhomie, reassuring us that the Fringe has returned with confidence.
Embassy Stomp makes good use of props, integrating them into the gags with self-awareness and good humour. The costume design is successful, with the play’s minimalistic approach to staging offset by the quality of the wardrobe choices. The props and costumes also form important elements of various sight gags, which lift the dialogue-centric nature of the play and engage the audience.
Accents are utilised heavily as indicators of character and location changes. Some land better than others, but the rapid rotation between linguistic styles is impressive within such a short timeframe. These accents assist the placement of geography in the show, and geographic humour is generally employed effectively throughout, with recurring gags timed and executed well.
The fourth wall is broken more than once and handled effectively, with the play becoming self-aware of its medium in opportune comedic moments. At no point do these feel out of place in the production.
Although it takes a short while from the top of the play to grasp exactly how Embassy Stomp aims to locate its humour within its wartime-yet-comedic context, overall the play provides a solid performance of the kind that forms the backbone of Festival Fringe programming, and reassures us that the live play has returned to Edinburgh with strength and spirit.
Aug 6-14, 22:00
Images: Eleanor Hope, edited by Harrison Roberts