RealiTV **1/2

RealiTV makes for an easy target for a review.  It is a cheap production, mostly by recent graduates, about a subject matter that has been so done to death that originality is all but impossible.

That target is Big Brother and the celebrity-culture that goes with it.  We have seen this done so many times that many of the satires and parodies have themselves been sent-up.  It’s all old hat and offers little new ground for anyone to explore anything of artistic value.  And for crying out loud, the show has just been cancelled after years of dropping numbers.

And yet, I find that I cannot be too negative.  Suzanne Enoch has both written the script and directed the production; and as flawed as it all is, it is still an accomplished production.  Yes, the script, which takes about an hour to perform, could be boiled down to a ten-minute skit, but there are enough clever ideas, lines and insights that one can’t completely write it off.  And the play is actually quite well handled.  If anything, it makes me want to watch more of Enoch’s work, because she shows great potential of becoming an effective theatrical artist.  She isn’t quite there yet, but there are enough flashes in this production to raise my expectations in hope.

The ensemble work isn’t bad either.  Most of the cast are fine but there are some real gems.  Shaun Nethercott’s Doctor is a lot of fun to watch but there is a really great performance with excellent flare by Morna McDonald, who plays announcer-from-hell Fifi La Fox.  Her comedic timing is fantastic, and she brings such great vigour to the production that the energy literally picks up whenever she’s onstage.

With all of the choices and major marketing campaigns out there, it’s easy to forget that the Fringe can also serve as a training ground for up-and-coming artists.  RealiTV is not a particularly good production, but it does show great promise of future work from many involved.  It isn’t a waste of time, even if it isn’t nearly as clever or original as it seems to think it is.

But sometimes, doing a production on the Fringe means taking a chance, and the people involved with this production have taken enough of a chance to earn my respect.  I will certainly be looking out for their work in the future, and I sincerely wish them all the best of luck.

Playing at The Space on the Mile @ The Radisson until the 29th at 13.35.

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