Wed 3rd – Mon 29th August 2016


Jessica Cripps

at 22:13 on 14th Aug 2016



Fingertips explores the pressures and loneliness of six strikingly different millennials, apparently inspired by verbatim, who over the course of one drunken Halloween evening discover that their differences really aren’t that different.

Walking into the cosy theatre is almost a surreal trip back down memory lane: the cast are already on stage, chanting drinking games as their audience entered. This sets up the energy and social dynamics between each character nicely, and easily transitions from setup into dialogue.

These six twentysomethings each play an almost stereotypical role: there is Douglas, the sweet guy, Will, who is a bit of a lovable player, his best friend Kate, who puts up the persona of a badass to disguise her own insecurities. The host, Annabel, is the cool link between them all, but hopelessly lost, while her long-time friend Emma is defined almost entirely by her vanity and ‘Insta-fame’. And then there is Lucy, the quiet one: helplessly naïve but stronger than she first appears.

It is easy to be sceptical about having such easily defined characters: I was worried that they would just dissolve into stereotypes and lack the character development that was required to keep them as complex, interesting and believable people. However, Naomi Fawcett’s script, although staged entirely in Annabel’s bedroom over the course of one evening, allows the alcohol to have its effect and suddenly let the characters snap into an honesty that develops them beyond their stereotypes. Confessions are made, tears are shed, arguments are had, and selfies are taken.

The intimate space of Annabel’s bedroom, where the play takes place, sometimes feels a little crowded, however. As an audience, we are arranged around the stage, making it a little distracting when certain scenes require two characters to be in deep conversation and the rest frolick soundlessly in the background. The constant drinking, too, while necessary as context, becomes a bit of a farce after a while. It seems that once a character has poured a drink, they barely say one line before pouring another one. Several bottles of gin and vodka are apparently consumed between the six of them: something that just seems like a health risk.

As a twentysomething, I left feeling like I had seen myself reflected a little bit in each of them: Fawcett clearly captures what it means to be a young millennial, and to sometimes feel a little lost. The experience is intense and intimate, thoroughly dramatic and extremely convincing.


Kate Nicholson

at 19:15 on 15th Aug 2016



As the audience file into their seats, the actors have already begun; all clutching plastic cups containing alcohol, the group of 20-somethings chat amongst themselves, casually ‘bantering’. This is a familiar scene to most of those in the audience, as we witness the beginning of a drunken night out between friends. A scene of normality which is quickly converted into an intrinsic piece questioning our paths in life, In The Attic productions provides the audience with a lens to the darker side of the modern world.

The plot gradually explores each of the character’s deep seated concerns and failed attempts to live up to their own expectations. It does occasionally feel overly confessional: one tale of woe after another. Yet, I must admit each tale is fascinating in itself, focusing on how what appear to be trivial social moments – such as falling out with a friend, being dumped or feeling uncertain as to who you are – can actually be quite uprooting.

A special mention should go to the character of Kate (Emma Mulkern), the girl with attitude, who oozes angst. Mulkern excellently masters the stage, the small girl with a fiery tongue who could call anyone out for acting out of line. She is at her best when the tough girl act falls away, and Kate’s sensitive and lonely self is exposed in true vulnerability.

Between the other characters, there is also an exceptional amount of chemistry – humorous moments feel natural in each conversation, rather than forced for the audience’s enjoyment. But, I can’t overlook the fact that this piece is aimed at my age group; being a millennial means terms such as ‘shit got cray’ are straight out of my own vocabulary. Unfortunately for some of the older generations, I see this slang going straight over their head.

It is also worth noting that whilst the entire performance is engaging, the thrust stage means that more often than not, several actors are obscured from my view. Since the director chooses to keep the actors on stage at all times, even when some are outside and some inside, one’s focus is then split between two scenes, and this is a major source of distraction.

To be cynical about this play, it isn’t the most challenging piece from the Fringe this year. Many of the actors appear to play characters identical to their own true selves. It is a tame, yet genuinely thought-provoking performance which searches beneath the falsities of 21st century social interaction. In an age in which social media forces us to always present a one-dimensional version of our lives, this play is particularly poignant.


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