Edinburgh Fringe: Firing Blanks

WORLD PREMIERE

FIRING BLANKS ****

Written and directed by Tom Spencer

Underbelly, Cowgate, 56 Cowgate, Edinburgh

Aug 7-8, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26 @ 15.35 (45min) £8.00

Aug 9-10, 13-15, 20-21, 27-29 @ 15.35 (45) £9.00

Aug 16 -17, 23 – 24 @ 15.35 (45 min) £6.50

Buy tickets here

Reviewed by Jacqueline Sharp

Men tend not to speak about the subject of male infertility with their partners, or their friends, perhaps out of fear, embarrassment, or ridicule. Some may avoid the issue choosing instead to banter about football over a pint of lager.

I was curious as to how this story would be told. The script is first class as it tackles this taboo subject head on.  The banter and dialogue between an older man and a younger woman is excellent.  It’s refreshing how one feels better when speaking to a stranger about one’s problems.

The two characters have no romantic involvement, just the basics of a good friendship.

Holly Beasley-Garrigan, as Kate, is pretty, with a lovely smile; which helps ease the pain for Richard.  Robin McLoughlin, as Richard, seemed wooden. I didn’t think he was right for this role.  He needed to be more comical, inject more comedy into the role, loosen up, have a laugh and let it all go.  He seemed too stern, angry, anxious, annoyed; all feelings anyone would feel at being infertile. However those feelings were inappropriate for the Fringe.  He was far too serious. Comedy helps to tease pain. Laughter is therapeutic!  It is always better to laugh at ones problems, than to dwell or cry.

Perhaps the Director Tom Spencer was hoping to raise awareness about male infertility. This play still has potential, though.  I could see this first class script turned into a television show with a different male lead, though!

Anyone looking for more information on this subject please check out following links.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male_infertility

http://www.malefertility.co.uk/

http://www.womens-health.co.uk/infertility7.asp

http://www.infertilitynetworkuk.com

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/837147-rise-in-male-infertility-linked-to-plastic-food-and-drink-cartons

http://www.malefertility.co.uk/statistics.html

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