Fringe THEATRE REVIEW: Electric @The Caxton Arms

Paul Gustafson May 28, 2019


WHETHER you’re a seasoned raver, or if like me you’ve never been camping at a music festival, then grab the chance to vicariously experience all the associated pleasure and pain by catching this cracking jewel of a two-handed comedy from Dublin based ILA Productions.

As well as being a fun-packed, immersive experience Electric is a touchingly written girl meets girl falling-in-love story where post codes, social class and peer pressure conspire to keep posh Dublin south-sider Scarlett and streetwise north-sider Joni apart. But will this new found love which takes both girls by surprise overcome their social differences and conquer the day?

Writer and performer Ali Hardiman and Ericka Roe are both funny and moving in their respective portrayals of Scarlett and Joni. Hardiman’s Scarlett is cringingly anxious and self-obsessed and her vulnerability is a perfect foil for Roe’s savvy, seemingly super confident Joni. It’s a great fit.

Both also play the roles of their various friends, family and other colourful characters, convincingly switching between dialects and genders in a way that is effortless and very funny. Hardiman’s portrayal of Joni’s uber rough, foul mouthed side-kick Kelly is a particularly joyful creation.

The set is bravely simple and the staging distinctly lacking in props, so it’s the writing and the acting which carries the day and transports us right there to the festival fields, helped along the way by a suitably eclectic dance soundtrack.

Other clever touches include both actresses offering to decorate punters’ faces with glitter before the show, and then the provision of a festival wristband in exchange for your ticket. And there’s even a tongue-in-cheek handout on every seat with a glossary of Dub phrases and colloquialisms. It all adds to the immersive experience and gets you nicely in the mood for the exceptional craic that’s to come.

Electric runs until June 2 at the Caxton Arms, 36 North Gardens, Brighton

For performance times and tickets, click here: