Fresh out of York and written by student Tess Humphrey, this cult play is certain to be a Fringe hit. Its dark dry humour captures the audience alongside powerful performances from the three main members of its cast. Winter of our Discotheque is a story of power and aristocratic manipulation set in the Eton rival public school: ‘The Hastings’. Mama and Alex, a veteran couple of the establishment are forced to introduce the previously Eton-expelled Laurie. This dysfunctional group are thrown together and friendships are pushed to their boundaries through an exploration of substance abuse, alcohol and depression.
The set for the play was expertly done, minimal for the Fringe yet comprehensive enough to evoke the imagination despite a few accidental glass smashes. The director has done a fantastic job in the characterisation of the cast and a special mention must be made to Andy Lake whose comic timing was borderline genius. He had the audience in the palm of his hand through a funny portrayal of what was in fact a harrowing personal story. The on stage chemistry between the 3 main cast members was apparent and it was a pleasure to watch. Although at some stages there was a slight amount of overacting their performances were gripping and thought evoking.
The only thing that keeps this from being a five star performance is the pacing of the play. The script although comic needs some level of ironing out with some scenes which could be sped up in the lead to the climactic dream scenes at the end. Some scenes do appear slightly disconnected but the transitions between scenes were done with expert precision and for a first night were incredibly smooth (or at least appeared so). By retaining a slow plot progression through the later scenes (especially where the content and setting is similar) it causes a bit of a zone out from the audience and the suddenness of the ending comes as a bit of an awakening. This script has incredible potential and is very witty. A fantastic representation for drama here at York.