"Mosquitoes" Review - Edinburgh University Theatre Company

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Photography: Dominika Ucar, Design: Michael Zwiauer

Walking into "Mosquitoes," I did not have high hopes. I had been exposed to only one other Kirkwood play before, and I quite frankly hated the writing, and expected to do so here as well. I must have caught her on a bad day before, because this play is so incredibly good.

The play has a runtime of nearly 3 hours including the interval, but this flashes by in a heartbeat. Lead by Tilly Botsford and Megan Burns, with Charlie Woolley, Rory McKeon and a stunning supporting cast of seven, every moment in Mosquitoes feels authentic and delicate. 

Both Burns and Botsford are expertly cast, and the chemistry between them is electric (they play sisters). Every loving moment, every argument invoked tears from the audience, and whilst both actors, individually have some stunning moments and extreme amounts of talent, the play is at its best when these two characters are interacting. 

Charlie Woolley is simply incredible as Luke, and despite being the same age as Burns, who plays his mother, you really believe the mother/son relationship of these characters, as well as the love/hate relationship he has with his aunt (Botsford). His breakdown towards the end of the play made me cry buckets. Woolley is one of those actors, that even if you know him, you forget you know him because his performance is just THAT convincing. 

Rory McKeon's French accent as Henri was infallible, and he gets some intense moments in this play, and  completely steals the stage from the already brilliant rest of the cast. The relationship between his character and the sisters was so entertaining, and it's such a shame the script didn't write him in to be a bigger part. Katrina Johnstone also has some amazing moments, but these are usually more comic than emotional. The mother being a catalyst between the two sisters as they argue was an incredible writing choice, and Johnstone solidifies this choice into such a charming performance. I also actually wanted to kill Roxy Witteveen's "Natalie" by the end of the play, who pulls the trigger on the final blow against Luke in a shocking turn of events.

The tech in the play is amazing, with projections created by Kiera Saunders and Alexander Mohan Morzeria-Davis, making use of four projectors, leading to an extremely immersive theatrical experience. The set is beautiful, once again making use of a white stage at Bedlam, with very smooth set and prop changes done by the cast, choreographed to a tee, other than one cup of water that kept getting kicked over, which was only so funny because everything else was so smooth. Heroically, Áine Higgins picked it up and saved the day. 

Overall, "Mosquitoes" combines some of the best acting I've seen at Bedlam with some of the best direction and tech I've seen at Bedlam and results in, without a doubt, the best show I've ever seen at Bedlam.

Verdict: ★★★

"Mosquitoes" runs until 8th February at Bedlam Theatre.

Tickets: https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/events/10188/14947/


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