“This is the dystopian future they were telling us about.”
The EUTC’s production Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot by Amy Yeo is a profound and realistic portrayal of modern-day friendships and romance. The play follows a group of friends reuniting for their annual Burn’s Night supper in a night of secrets, rumours and revelations.
The play finds its uniqueness in its relatability. Its characters are authentic and the emotions they feel even more so as they explore the impending prospect that we are all terrified of facing: leaving youth behind to enter an adulthood of responsibility. This intermittent period of confusion, heartbreak and rejection is excellently portrayed in Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot.
In following the relationship between Phoebe (Clara Hallam) and Fiona (Alice Jackson), the audience is introduced to a situation that we all must face at some stage in our lives. Whilst Phoebe is stuck in her mundane life in Scotland, unable to escape her circumstance, Fiona is abroad pursuing potential ambitions. These two characters wonderfully explore the difficulties and decisions of a long-distance relationship.
The youthful portrayal of the classic case of unrequited love between Katie (Amelia Chinnock-Schumann) and James (Simon Parker) is incredibly powerful. Armed with a constant flow of humorous one liners, they precisely depict the familiarity of unrequited love. James’s outpour of emotion to Katie about his feelings of demotivation and exhaustion succeed in investing the audience all the more in their story.
What truly brings the play to life, however, are the insanely humorous interactions between Isaac (Grant Jamieson) and Louisa (Mica Anderson). After sharing two secret rendezvous, both fear the other has read too much into the situation; both share their concerns with their friends before coming together to discuss the uncomfortable incident. Through perfectly timed awkward pauses and amusing gags, this dynamic is one of the most entertaining of the performance.
The play fabulously depicts the growth of incredibly down-to-earth characters trying to find meaning in an uncooperative world. Doing what all good theatre should, Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot provokes a degree of introspection within the audience. The cast’s chemistry and performance are clearly a testament to the mastery of director Ben Fleming.
Katie May Anderson’s three-part set and costumes are fabulously created and perfectly selected. Everything from the dominos vouchers on the pin-board to the vegetarian haggis made the production all the more authentic; it is as if the audiences were entered into a university dinner party of our own making.
Ultimately, Amy Yeo’s Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot is wonderfully scripted and brilliantly performed. It’s yet another testament to the incredible ability of our cohort of production teams and actors in Edinburgh.
Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot
Runs until the 31st
Image: Madeleine McLinden