The Waiting Room Assembly George Square

Renegade Theatre Company is a Nigerian company who have won numerous awards in their home country and who were invited to perform A Winter’s Tale at the Globe Theatre’s World Shakespeare Festival in 2012. Apparently this is the first time a Nigerian theatre company has appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe and I do hope they start to attract more people than they did on the day I saw this production as they certainly merit a wider audience.

The stage is bare but for four chairs. Four very different characters enter – Aduka, an excitable woman on a mobile phone, the bling wearing gangster Don Flexi, businessman Akashi and Cara, a glamorous young girl. They have all been sent a letter inviting them to an appointment but they don’t know why and they don’t know each other, although they all look familiar to each other.
Once they have entered the room, they find the door is locked and there is no way out. Gradually we begin to find out how the four are connected and why they find themselves in this waiting room. The initials signing each of the letters they received spell out “Destiny” but what does fate have in store for them? Nothing is straightforward, and just as you think you have discovered the truth, a new twist develops and a parallel story unfolds which turns everything on its head. As one of the characters says “there are other realms beyond this world” – what is truth and what is imagination? Throughout the play, each of the four actors has a soliloquy in which they add a bit more information to the story unfolding before us and to the motivations of their characters. Akashi talks about the consequences of our actions, Don Flexi’s philosophy is to “Keep thinking, keep moving, keep ahead of the game” In the end they realise there can only be one ending, they are there because “they must finish what they started”.

This is an interesting and well-acted production which keeps you on your toes throughout. Let’s hope the word spreads and they get the bigger audience they deserve.

Irene Brownlee