The Fear (Fringe 2018)

Do you have The Fear?

[Special thank you to The Fear cast and crew for their hospitality.]

Finishing university has been a surreal experience. Realising that the future has become a vast chasm of opportunities is daunting. Watching a show about this inevitable end might appear bleak, but MMR’s The Fear transforms this gloomy era into a celebratory swan song.

The Fear follows three students on five days during their final year of university. Their lives punctured with deadlines, late nights, and a live band, they sing of the trials and tribulations of student life.

I understand that many students worry about their work being branded as ‘students writing about students’, but surely if you have a good idea, writing what you know is best? I had the pleasure of watching this show in Manchester, and the team have worked hard to overhaul the plot in preparation for Edinburgh. These changes have done wonders to the characters, particularly Sam played by  the talented Anna Toogood. Sam’s assuredness in the face of looming responsibilities gained a lot of laughs and led to a more independent character development.

Ferg’s girlfriend plotline touches on mental health with extreme respect. Tom Carswell and Toogood’s performances in Calm for a Minute beautifully contrasts with the lively beats and comedic tricks, adding a thicker layer behind the jovial banter of the three housemates, as is true in Ash’s number Requiem, humorously performed by James Ward-Mallison.

The song list is an incredible mix of head bangs, tear-jerkers, and hamster-dedications that are guaranteed to have you tapping your feet. The cast incorporates the live band superbly with the fourth-wall humour. Their musical talent is also second-to-none.

I’m hard-pressed to find faults in a show that runs so slickly with the kind of energy that surpasses many professional shows I’ve seen. Perhaps some of the fourth-wall breaks threatened to topple that magical barrier, but the cast’s confidence in delivering the tongue-in-cheek humour quickly whisks the audience away from such thoughts.

Devilishly clever, with enough energy to light up Arthur’s Seat, The Fear is not to be missed.

Tickets available here.