Summing up the plot of Born on a Monday is a challenge; this play’s numerous narrative threads include an amateur reporter suffering from crippling social anxiety, a priest with multiple identities, and a spree of inexplicable deaths in the town of ‘Heaven’, Oklahoma. Following the plot is not essential in this case though. The success of Born on a Monday lies in the uniquely strange nature of its vision and the surprisingly moving depths it is able to chart which are grounded in three highly watchable performances, courtesy of Elena Faverio, Nick Apostolina and Brandon Ashford.
One of the first hurdles for any piece of new writing at the Fringe is to somehow manage to create something that is both original and engaging over the course of a very short runtime (generally around 40 minutes). It is to the play’s credit that it is not only able to overcome this hurdle but also deliver a funny and quietly moving resolution to its initially bizarre questions and premise. Clever use of live music and recorded sound helps achieve this in spades, but first and foremost it’s a production that rises on the strength of its central trio.
Born on a Monday is the rare piece of new writing that balances seriousness and absurdity whilst at the same time never forgoing its obligation to keep its audience thoroughly entertained. It’s a refreshingly thoughtful piece of theatre that’s quite possibly the low-key gem of this years Edinburgh Fringe.