Rebounding Hail @ The Underbelly Cowgate (Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015) Review

Rebounding Hail is full of original ideas and an entertaining narrative. Telling the story of a girl living through fiction, Disparat Theatre’s debut show is a unique and timeless tale.

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The writing is strong, although at times, needs to slow down and develop more characters. Using real fiction, the narrative is told by flitting through scenes of books, all anchored by Holly Kilpatrick’s character; a young girl stuck in fantasies.  This is an interesting play that keeps you on your toes. Kilpatrick plays an Alice-in-Wonderland style breathy, British school girl and the supporting actors are excellent. Something needs to click between Kilpatrick and the story as she seems a little removed and dispassionate but the supporting actors really lift the piece when the energy drops.

A big criticism is how long the narrative takes to develop, which may be the reason for the occasional low energy. The key point of the storyline comes relatively late in the show and leaves little opportunity for development within the supporting actors’ roles. As a result, it can become a little wearing to watch characters appear again and again without learning anything new about them.
That being said, this is still an enjoyable play. The set is good and it compliments the venue – a dark, concrete attic of a room and the music is all created and performed by the actors backstage which adds hugely to the atmosphere. There are some beautifully haunting voices within this company.

Theatrefullstop was also present during a ‘relaxed show’ which meant the house lights were slightly up, the door open and some loud noises were slightly muted. This is all so children with learning disabilities and special needs are able to enjoy the piece as well – more Fringe shows should take their lead from Disparat in this regard.

Altogether, this is a very skilled cast from the East 15 Acting School and while something needs to click to turn this into the magic it could be, this is a good piece of theatre. Disparat hold a lot of promise for future shows. 3.5/5.

Review written by Michaela Carroll.

Rebounding Hail is currently showing at the Underbelly Cowgate as part of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For more information on the production, visit here…

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