SOLO2 was like a delightful buffet. I love a good buffet, especially if there are at least three varieties of breaded chicken. I went to a wonderful buffet a few months ago that had five varieties of breaded chicken, not to mention a variety of vegetarian and vegan options (although I didn’t hold that against it). SOLO, or rather this year’s second iteration at the Swindon Fringe: SOLO2, offered at least as much variation as that buffet.
I think we can all agree that I’ve carried the ‘buffet’ comparison about as far as I can (if not further) and perhaps now we can move on with the rest of our lives.
SOLO2 was an hour of contemporary monologues. Some funny, some serious and some somewhere in between. Some were expansive and some were intimate. Some rehearsed readings and some performed. A cast from young to less young. Some works performed by their writers, others interpreted by others. An explosion of variety, on a number of topics, across 60 readily passing minutes, prefaced by two short films.
While it’s difficult to thoroughly review a smorgasbord of soliloquies like this I particularly enjoyed Adam Thorn’s free-form performance of his own work, ‘Mr Sunshine’, a witty piece on the complexities of mental illness. I also appreciated ‘Are We There Yet?’ written by Lisa Leroux; a tragicomic short work about a toxic mother/daughter relationship sensitively interpreted by Amy Blunden. But I think my personal highlight was ‘An Indian Abroad’, a raucous semi-autobiographical scene that was delightfully written and performed by Hari Ramikrishnan.
But I got a thrill from it all. Shout Out Productions have once again given the Fringe a number of mini masterpieces on one canvas. I look forward to SOLO3 next year.