Submarine is a theatrical production of the book and film of the same name. It tell the story of Oliver Tate, a young boy fumbling through his first relationship and family tensions. The play manages to be funny and thought-provoking, and the audience are caught laughing at some of the more absurd moments then feeling for the characters the next.
Jonas Moore carries the show on his shoulders from beginning to end and he does so incredibly. Supported by a generally strong cast, he engages with the audience and beautifully portrays Oliver’s awkward, teenage years and his changing understanding of relationships and sex.
The direction and the set are two other notable successes of the show. Cast members are pre-seated in the front row of thrust-like staging. These seats within the audience are as offstage’ as the actors ever go. Costumes and props are all neatly piled in three bundles stage right and left and characters pick and choose from what they need, when they need it. Upstage is a wooden structure with wheels which serves to show Oliver’s bed, the living room, Oliver’s parents room, Jordanna’s family’s kitchen and always provides a sense of place very simply. It was manipulated by the cast each time to become whatever they needed it to be, and these subtle changes are a testament to good direction and a well-rehearsed show. Despite the useable space being decreased with all the props and costume onstage, the play never felt claustrophobic and there was a lot of movement. The use of projection was also well chosen and added to the overall performance, instead of distracting from it.
Submarine is a safe bet for a great piece of theatre from an emerging company, it felt professional and was a great debut for Popcorn Productions at the Edinburgh Fringe. It’s on at 20:25 in TheSpace on Niddry Street until the 29th and if you are a fan of the film be sure to check it out – if you have never seen the film then the play is incredibly enjoyable regardless!