There's not much easy about Rainbow in the whole; none of the three characters come out clean. The mind that came up with this story has quite some imagination - some very grim imagination. The bright red tops of the people promoting the show take on a different significance after you see it; they seem like they are blood-stained.
The title brings to mind colours and lights or the sun coming out but this story is dark and each character’s story is a different shade of grey. The three characters seem worlds apart, this is emphasised by each performing on a separate block. As the light moves from one character to the next they begin their monologues and each character’s story brings with it a completely different energy.
The darkness of the story is pierced with pin-pricks of humour. Even as the most horrific scene – of this or indeed any play I’ve seen – unfolds, there is dark humour to be found. Through her writing and directing Emily Jenkins has got the combination just right to stop you being overwhelmed by the harrowing story.
If I'd give one piece of advice it would be to sit on the side closest to the entrance. Not so you can subtly slip out; more in the hope that you won’t have quite such a sweaty experience as I had sat on the far side. There’s every chance that it’s just as hot no matter where you sit but don’t say you weren’t warned! In a way it felt as though the temperature was being employed as a theatrical device to add to the intensity of the piece – not that it requires any help. Whether theatrical trick or simply the result of the combination of a packed room and theatre lights the heat brought you physically out of your comfort zone to go alongside what the play was doing mentally.
It is harrowing, stomach churning and grimly realistic but is somehow not depressing. To say I liked or enjoyed it I would need to be a psychopath but it was excellent, what I would call a hard-core play. If you’ve had enough of comedy and whimsical shows but equally if you have only been watching serious shows go and see Rainbow, it’s like an anti-treat.
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Past Articles by This Author:
Michael’s musical theatre situation can be blamed on his dad’s affliction, Gilbert&Sullivan-itis. This rare condition is hereditary and Michael was diagnosed at a young age but it is unfortunately untreatable. It is thought that writing is a useful form of therapy for this ailment so he has chosen Edinburgh as a base for its clean air, excellent weather and yearly August-long culture binge. Michael does not limit his writing to the theatre though with sports, Children’s books and his nine-hundred mile walk with a Japanese Buddhist monk all falling foul of his pen (or more commonly his mobile phone’s keypad, he’s cutting edge like that!). |
- EDIBURGH 2012: BWW Reviews: MAN 1, BANK 0, Gilded Balloon, August 19
- EDINBURGH 2012: BWW Reviews: ASHER TRELEAVEN: TROUBADOUR, Gilded Ballon, August 15
- EDINBURGH 2012: BWW Reviews: KAPUT, Udderbelly Pasture, Dairy Room, August 15
- EDINBURGH 2012: BWW Reviews: RAINBOW, Zoo Southside, August 13
- EDIBURGH 2012: BWW Reviews: BULLET CATCH, Traverse Theatre, August 9
- EDINBURGH 2012: BWW Reviews: KILLING TIME, Bedlam Theatre, August 8
- EDINBURGH 2012: BWW Reviews: THE LONELY ONE, Underbelly, August 7
- EDINBURGH 2012: BWW Reviews: NICK MOHAMMED IS MR SWALLOW:2012, the Pleasance Courtyard, August 6
- EDINBURGH 2012: BWW Reviews: BOY IN A DRESS at Stand 3, August 5
- EDINBURGH 2012: BWW Reviews: UNMYTHABLE at the Zoo Venues' Monkey House, August 5
- EDINBURGH 2012: BWW Reviews: THE BLIND, August 3
- EDINBURGH 2012: BWW Reviews: CELIA PACQUOLA - DELAYED, August 1