Review – Beautiful Burnout, Pleasance Courtyard

So I’m not one to brag, but it turns out one of the shows I tipped as a hot tip for the fringe is absolutely superb. I’m just saying, y’know, do exactly what I say next time.

Yes, I saw Beautiful Burnout and even my sad, wizened, cold, hard critical heart melted in the face of a superbly acted and meticulously produced tour de force from Frantic Assembly and the National Theatre of Scotland.

I cried (yes, like a girl) and stood as I clapped (yes, like an American) and at one point couldn’t help myself from saying out loud “That’s amazing”. Because this play is amazing: the plot and writing does the business, delivering the requisite tugging on the heart strings, but the stand-out part is the physicality of the performances and the slickness with which this is integrated into the production.

I never really got physical theatre before. It always conjured images of two drama students all in black on an all white stage slowly climbing a ladder accompanied by Shostakovich. Not here: here the physicality is not only beautiful in its own right but integral to the plot, and seamlessly filleted into it in beautiful fashion.

This is an incredible, wonderful and most of all beautiful production. There are, remarkably, still some tickets left for performances at the end of the fringe: get one.

5 stars

UPDATE: Beautiful Burnout will run at York Hall in London until 2 October