The Try-Hards - Edinburgh Fringe 2019 Review (Fragments Theatre)

image of event

Photo credit: Fragment Theatre

Fragment Theatre invited me to review both this, and "PAMALA" (which I gave 5 stars to) as a pair. I went to both, and after seeing "PAMALA", I was very excited for this. I wasn't disappointed, but I wasn't exactly blown away either. 

The premise for "The Try-Hards" seemed very childish at first - it was a British Primary-School-Style 'Sports Day', and I must say it took me a few minutes too long to realise it was a metaphor.

The tech used was noteworthy, they seamlessly integrated prerecorded projections and live acting which worked really well. Another standout feature was the multi-rolling, which was achieved via minor costume changes, and A4 name signs around their necks. I know the latter sounds really odd, or even stupid, but somehow, it worked, and not only that, but it worked VERY well.

So, it was a metaphor, and the list of sporting events was as follows:
  • Overcoming dyspraxia to play a musical instrument
  • Overcoming fear of heights
  • Overcoming anxiety
  • Overcoming chronic disease and low confidence relating to social situations
  • Overcoming self-confidence relating to your body
  • Overcoming injury
  • Rediscovering passion
There's a bit of theme, isn't there? I love it - I love it so much. There's so much serious mental health etc related theatre, and this was a light hearted metaphor, that you couldn't help but smile for out. I didn't ask, but I believe that this piece was devised, and partially based on experience, because some of the performances were just so believable. That's how it came across, regardless.

A memorable moment is them giving water and biscuits to the players and spectators halfway through the play - it was so funny and got me really nostalgic for my school days.

In conclusion, "The Try-Hards" is a great piece of theatre, it just wasn't quite on the same level as "PAMALA".

Verdict: ★★★★

"The Try-Hards" has concluded its run at the Edinburgh Fringe this year.


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