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  • Henry Longstaff

The Society of New Cuisine - Underbelly Edinburgh Fringe

How much is your blood worth to you?

Ben Thompson as Toto, Georgina Onuorah as Dorothy, Jason Manford as The Cowardly Lion, Ashley Banjo as The Tin Man and Louis Gaunt as The Scarecrow


Debut writer but seasoned performer Chris Fung has twisted a Buddhist allegory to serve as a warning to the ever-growing descent into commercialisation and capitalism, challenging us to put a price on our way of life. Whilst offering a steadfast performance, the piece struggles to get out from under itself, a little confused about how to speak its timely message.

Fung guides us through begins and ends of relationships, from the awkward flirting to the unravelling realisations. The unnamed character has stumbled, stricken with grief and unable to go onwards, his latest relationship built on materialistic foundations has no hope of survival unless he is willing to make a sacrifice. Fung neatly delivers his own words, weaving through the metaphor ladened language comfortably, but it is in managing the emotions of his character where he excels, leading us through the peaks and troughs confidently. There are opportunities to refine the performance further however, a little more variety in the other characters to aid in the storytelling for example but it is the script that needs the most reexamining.

The impact of Fung’s warning is never truly realised, the direction of the piece seemingly lost in the confused narrative. Lengthy anecdotes or biology lessons about caterpillars leave little room for the development of the character in the limited runtime, leaving the audience unsure as to who our protagonist is and why he is willing to do what he does. There is something poetic and profound buried within this production but as yet it needs time to cocoon before it spreads its wings.

Running 5-13th, 15-27th - Tickets

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