• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Fringe 2023: In Everglade Studio

ByJemima Hawkins

Aug 27, 2023
Four actors in stage lighting, one holding a guitar. The two in the background look to the side.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Fringe has a tendency to be viewed as a primarily comedic exploration of theatre, with stand-up comedy and sketch shows taking the forefront of awards and reviews. In Everglade Studio is the brilliantly artistic exception to this rule.

Set in a claustrophobic recording studio in 1974, two musicians, their manager, and a ‘new blood’ song writer embark on an overnight session to complete an album, that, if not perfect, will lead to them forfeiting a pay slip they can’t afford to miss. As artistic and racial tensions become rife, materials from the walls in this underground cavern slowly seep into the air, driving the musicians to insanity as the show progresses.

What opens as a playground of exciting creativity manifests into strangely macabre music being produced in a deeply inhospitable environment. As the night wags on, guns and knives are pulled by all, against all, as insanity grips the minds of four young talents.

The most impressive and captivating aspect of this production was that all music was played live, by talented actors and even more talented musicians. This combination of the music becoming slowly destructive and chaotic, as the mind became blurred, set the scene for an intense and captivating thriller.

The writing cleverly blended subtle dark comedy with the unease and tension of the room, creating an intelligently constructed masterpiece. Accompanied by live music and very strong singing voices, this theatrical quartet had all audience members utterly consumed.

Based on true events, this show seemingly aims to shed light on the neglect towards musicians and the immense pressures placed on them by the industry, as well as the dangers of buildings built for low costs rather than longevity. At the same time, it is an intriguing insight into the race relations at play in the music making industry in 1974, with lead singer Sky wielding obnoxious power over the talented writer and musician that is brought in due to societal conventions of the time.

This powerful production of music and theatrical talent is an undiscovered gem of the Fringe, blending a locked-room mystery with a musical biopic. This performance is captivating, and beautifully raw.

In Everglade Studio is on at The Box, Assembly George Square, at 1pm until 28 August. Tickets: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/in-everglade-studio

Image provided to The Student as press material.