High Aces Theatre Company
You can’t help but wonder at the thought process that goes into the decision to bring a play like Christmas Is Miles Away to the Fringe. It’s not exactly a cheap and stress-free time of year, so your play needs to have something distinctive or unique about it to separate it from the myriad of other shows.
To say Christmas Is Miles Away is bland in every sense may sound harsh but there really is so little of it that offers some sort of original entertainment. The concept of two teenage boys, Christie and Luke, who are best buds before their friendship breaks down via female catalyst Julie is played out as predictably as possible. Meanwhile brief moments of sincere meshing of script, character and actor are not enough to distract from the nagging lack of imagination that’s gone into the production. When Christie expresses his near-constant angst-riddled frustration for the 53rd time by sticking his hands in his pockets, sighing and turning to the audience the shortage of ideas becomes almost comical.
It may be that a script that murmurs the death of Christie’s father a couple of times as an unimportant detail and cuts out just as scenes are clawing towards development made it hard for the director and actors to find something to latch on to.
However it happened, the end result is an average piece of theatre. There’s nothing shockingly bad, but why watch it when you can see everything it does done better?
The Space @ Jury's Inn, 11 - 16 Aug , 5.05pm (6.25pm), £7.50 (£7.00), fpp 191.