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Words: Robert Parker-White

4 stars

Emma, Joe and Polko used to be the best of friends but now ten years have passed. Joe is stuck in a dead end job, Polko has disappeared off the face of the earth and Emma has returned to move back in with her parents. Journalist turned playwright, Angus Harrison, brings us Polko – a play about being back where you started, even after you have moved on.

Polko’s set is bleak and stark in Paines Plough tourable, in-the-round Roundabout with two car seats positioned either side of each other. You get the sense of being a voyeur of these very private conversations.

The acting is solid and director Emily Lings brings out some strong performances. She is deft with the staging, always making sure you have something interesting to watch. Rosie Dwyer is magnetic as the fiery and chaotic Emma. Elliot Norman is excellent as the directionless Joe, really capturing his inner struggles and deep disappointment in himself. Dwyer and Norman’s chemistry is palpable as they ping off one another. John McNeill rounds the cast as the amusing Peter.  

There is some strikingly poignant prose at the end of the play and some shocking twists which really keep you gripped but occasionally the play feels a little inconclusive and could do with a more decisive ending. 

Roundabout @ Summerhall
25-27 Aug


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