Pace rep company are making their debut appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe during the 2019 season. Founded in 1988 they run the largest youth theatre in the country with over 1000 young people attending each week.
Avalanche is a well written, directed and performed moving play of two halves that somehow meet in the middle. Two desperately unhappy late teens see each other every day on the bench while waiting for the bus.
He attempts to make conversation with her on several occasions. However, her friends and Instagram likes on her selfie posts dominate her time and he goes unnoticed. When did we stop properly communicating without a phone or other electronic gadget?
Grief is the underlying theme for both characters in this play. A loss of a parent which leaves a vast empty space for Louis and the loss of moving away and growing apart from friends is the source of Sophie’s grief.
Sophie played by Carla Macpherson has become consumed by taking daily selfies. The obsessive behaviour is a cover for a much deeper underlying problem. One of loss and the fear of being forgotten as her old friends become worlds apart from her now.
Whereas Fraser Scott’s character Louis is completely bewildered by this obsession and mistakes her constantly taking selfies as a sign for a fulfilled, popular and happy life. One in which he desires to take him away from the painful truth he carries around with him every day.
The journey through the performance takes them to the moon and back as they work through their emotions in stages. Finding something within themselves and each other to restore their happiness.
The solo singer Poppy Lironi as Ella, Louis’s Mother. Is moving and beautiful completely unaccompanied she sings the theme track to a couple of the scenes. I could have continued listening to her long after the production had finished. Such a rare treat to find such an unusual voice.
Avalanche explores the importance of looking beneath the surface for the truth and happiness. As their worlds crash down around them they dig through the emotional avalanche and they find the freedom to see the stars once more.