Once This Is All Over We Still Have To Clear Up (4 stars)

Once This Is All Over We Still Have To Clear Up

New Scottish theatre company Yellow Magpies proves itself a force to be reckoned with in coming-of-age tale

Some moments in life stay with us forever. Sitting at a school desk longing for the bell to ring, the thrill of drinking alcohol before it's legally allowed, falling in love for the first time and – for those a little older – buying your first home, getting married, having a baby. None of these events pass by unchecked; all are lodged in our personal memory banks. And yet the three young performers in new Scottish theatre company Yellow Magpies know exactly how to access them.

This tale of lives lived from cradle to grave could so easily have floundered in a pool of naivety and inexperience, speaking only to the teens and twentysomethings in the audience. And yet, the opposite is true. Performers Hannah Jarrett-Scott, Euan Stamper and Carla Grant have a youthful spark which presents itself in their laid-back banter and physical delivery – but a mature heart that reaches out to all-comers.

Opening with a witty disclaimer that not all the milestones depicted here will apply to everyone, and that 'terms and conditions apply', they take us right back to the start. A baby is pulled into the world, perfectly voiced folly-artist style by Jarrett-Scott, and progresses through childhood, adolescence and beyond. All three take turns as the maturing protagonist, with each landmark punctuated by a burst balloon (the show starts with dozens suspended from the ceiling) which showers the stage with everything from glitter to tampons.

Alongside the humorous, well-directed dialogue sits live music and song, with Jarrett-Scott and Stamper proving themselves equally strong on guitar, piano and voice. But it is Stamper's denouement, when he fast-tracks through his life to its natural end, that seals the deal here – a moment so touching, we're all fused together in a new moment worthy of remembering.

Reviewed at Festival Theatre Studio, Edinburgh.

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