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Theatre Review: Saving Grace (Shiny New Festival)

Taking place at a Hen Party that goes horribly wrong from the start, Saving Grace is a comedy play with an emphasis on technology and the implications of being tied to so many social networks. The tone remains pitched between awkward humour and big laughs throughout, though more often than not it fails to fall cleanly on either side of the line.

Danni is getting married soon, and her mates think it would be a good idea to stay in for her Hen Night with some snacks and Mamma Mia. Of course this comes as a disappointment to the bride to be, and through a series of uncovered truths and tensions that have been bubbling under th surface between the three girls the night devolves into madness soon. The play does a good job of introducing the relationship between these characters well, allowing for the comedy to emerge from this naturally.

Unfortunately it doesn’t quite come off as well as it potentially could have. Awkward pauses that could be a cause for some major laughs, one special moment of silence in particular marks the mid point of the play, fall flat for some reason. Some go on too long, and the timing of some punchlines missed the mark completely. This meant that while you do giggle for most of the performance, the high points are missing that it consistently builds up to.

That said, the quirky narrative of Saving Grace is enjoyable. The MMO references were especially well used, the fact that all the male characters mentioned are addicted to a game gives the characters an interesting dynamic. It’s obvious that the girls are slightly jealous, either dismissing it, or using social networks too much to make up for it. The great direction made for some fun scenes where the ‘saving’ part of the title actually took place too.

It’s easy to see that a lot went into Saving Grace, see the online webisodes here for a brilliant example of exactly how much, and the end result is an enjoyable performance to watch. Even if some of the bigger jokes did fall flat, Saving Grace is a fun look at how social networks can make friends paranoid with some interesting well developed characters.

***

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