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Signposts into Blackpool at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre

Now rivalling the once all-conquering Edinburgh, Camden Fringe has become an essential showcase for new talent whether in performing, directing, or writing. Among the shows opening the festival this year, the two-hander Signposts into Blackpool is the first play to come from Louis Pieris, who stars alongside Hannah Brownlie as wedding guests Jasper and Lily. Shifts in the couple’s relationship are broken up by scenes featuring other couples including the bride and groom. Brownlie and Pieris are impressive in their various roles, and none of the couples outstays their welcome. Indeed, Signposts into Blackpool works well as a live audition tape.

Signposts into BlackpoolHowever, it is less effective as a play. The audience is constantly having to establish where and when each scene is set while speculating about the identity of the different couples and their relationship with Lily and Jasper. And while the eight characters are distinguished by different accents and small changes in costume, the actors’ physicality remains largely unchanged. The play would also benefit from fewer blackouts and a simpler set that required less intervention from the actors, as well as a slightly richer soundscape not least to replace the oddly chosen “crackling” sound effect that bridges the scenes.

Nonetheless, Signposts into Blackpool is a promising debut and the script is nicely leavened with humour. With a little tightening, this small gem of a play could develop into something very special.

3 Star Review

Review by Louis Mazzini

Signposts into Blackpool comes to the Lion & Unicorn Theatre as part of Camden Fringe.

A couple nearing the end of their relationship have more to discover about themselves through the lives of others. Tales of crushing heartache and effervescent love throw them into a vast plain of discovery, but will it bring them closer, or ultimately rip them apart? The hidden menace of love looms in this play about how far people will go to save something that may no longer serve them.

Author: Louis Pieris
Producer: Pomona Theatre
Director: Heather Kirk
Featured Technical Team: Emily Susanne Lloyd (Producer)

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