Robin Red Breast, That’s Lunch Productions Thurs 24th Feb – Sat 26th Feb at The Store, Guthrie Street, Edinburgh
Have you ever stopped to think about how much our lives are intertwined? We all know that in Edinburgh there is always somebody, who knows someone, who knows you. But in Robin Red Breast, a ‘That’s Lunch’ production, three characters are thrown together in a bizarre twist of fate that demonstrates just how closely connected we all are.
The plot centres around three men attending the same interview. On arrival at the interview location, the environment seems unfitting for the occasion. This is mirrored by writer and director Michael Shand’s accurate portrayal in the stage set, using props appropriate to the performance, which is said to be a warehouse.
The first character on stage, Tam (Mark McKirdy), appears comfortable on stage and commands the audience’s attention. With ease of ability, he accurately portrays a tearaway, keen to turn his life around within the world of legitimate employment. He is closely followed by George (Harry Gooch), a former judge left burdened by an unethical decision. Gooch demonstrated excellent stage presence, and was entirely convincing in his role. Both actors seemed believable in their portrayals, and were clear in their direction, which came across as more fluid, as opposed to overly rehearsed.
The first half of the performance featured Tam and George piecing the bits of their lives together. The emotion conveyed by Gooch in particular, had me sympathising with his predicament, whilst McKirdy was reminiscent of a lost young man, keen to break the cycle he had become engulfed in. Gooch accurately presented traits of a highly intelligent man experiencing a fall from grace, whereas McKirdy’s lyricism and body language persuaded me that he was in fact a representation of a more unsavoury character.
As the men begin to bond over reliving the trials and tribulations of the past, Peter, (Sean-Paul Cockburn) joins them, leaving the audience unsure of how he will fit into the equation. With an impressive emotional monologue, Cockburn successfully commands attention from the crowd. There were however aspects of his dialogue that felt unnatural, and references that didn’t quite tie in with the character we were presented.
This play is essentially a look at how three different people cope with the aftermath of a situation that has been taken out of their hands. By design, the script itself didn’t prescribe any light hearted anecdotes to take the edge off a rather melancholy tale. Despite that fact, I did enjoy Robin Red Breast, and it has made me think more closely about the number of unknowing connections we have with the anonymous people amongst us. It was certainly enjoyable, and something to get you thinking.
By Chiarra Pannozzo