A Series of Unfortunate Breakups – Some Riot Theatre
3rd-29th August (not the 16th), 19:30
Four couples, three stories, all with unfortunate endings. Fresh from their London shows, Some Riot Theatre has brought A Series of Unfortunate Breakups to the Edinburgh Fringe. This show is like a lot of new writing at the fringe, whilst it had the potential to be a good show, it fails to deliver.
A Series of Unfortunate Breakups follows the stories of four couples all with unfortunate endings. The first is the story of Patricia (played by Lucy Burke) and Derek (played by Luke Bailey), both are teenagers at school who have an on-again/off-again relationship. This is because although Derek pines for Patricia, she is too preoccupied with her love for Harry Styles even though she never has and never will meet him. This leads to Patricia repeatedly breaking up with Derek in favour for Harry and then taking him back when she realises she can’t have Harry. Whilst this appeared to be the funniest story, it just repeated itself as every scene was essentially the same and by the end it got quite boring and Patricia was just infuriating.
The second story is about a long-term couple, Lexie (played by Abigail Ribbons) and Johnson (played by Tom Manning), however, their relationship begins to fall apart when Lexie discovers Johnson has cheated on her. Whilst Lexie and Johnson stay together, Lexie can never let go of her anger about what happened. One of the scenes consists of Johnson begging Lexie to turn around and speak to him, but she just continues ignores him. This scene was one of the worst, Manning was not very convincing in this role and was too preoccupied with keeping it amusing rather than making it realistic.
The third story concerns the typical ‘heartbreaker’ lad, Robbie (played by Liam Darby), and his ex-girlfriend, Emma (played by Lucy Danser). When they end up at the same university, Emma meets Robbie’s new girlfriend, Penelope (played by Heather Howard), an over-talkative and annoying character. The story continues to develop but once again fails to be very convincing. Howard is particularly annoying as Penelope and thus failed to get any sympathy for what happens. Danser and Darby’s scenes also attempt to be too comedic and again just come across as annoying.
Overall, the show is a nice idea and it would have been better if all the stories somehow connected with each other. I thought this was going to happen at one point when Penelope and Lexie have a scene together, however, this doesn’t happen and the stories just remain disconnected and with no real plot or conclusion. Another annoying thing about this play was the loud beeps in between scenes which genuinely hurt my ears and were just ridiculously irritating and unnecessary.
The show was mainly filled with stupid comments and lines that were clearly just meant to be comedic, and whilst the rest of the audience, who seemed to be drunk, found it hilarious, I was not convinced. Whilst there were some redeeming aspects about the show, for example at the back of each scene, the cast not primarily involved in that scene, reacted to what was going on. Whilst this again was often over-acted, it was a nice idea and at some points did add to the scene.
However, A Series of Unfortunate Breakups was quite disappointing as a show. Whilst it might be hilarious for a drunk audience, if you are sober it just drags. A nice idea but stupid jokes, the lack of plot and over-acting ruined it.