Playwright Luke Barnes has two original plays on at the Fringe; ‘Bottleneck’ and ‘Chapel Street’. ‘Bottleneck’ is the historical offering, exploring one of the most culturally significant disasters in the history of Northern England from the perspective of a Liverpudlian fourteen-year old. Where Barnes really succeeds is in fixing the play’s emotional heart away from the disaster (no spoilers), which allows them to break down its horror and transform it into a symbol of a wider issue: working class political malaise. The script is itself bottlenecked – a little looser at the ends and tighter in the middle – but it’s still a good bet that Barnes is one of the best new writer at the Fringe, and James Cooney is exceptional as Greg.
Pleasance Courtyard, 1-26 Aug, 2.00pm.
tw rating 5/5 | [Thom May]