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SURVIVAL CHECK

flat tire theatre company · Ages 14+ · flashing lights · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by RUSSELL EATON

June 21, 2018 · original article
tagged as: adventure · ensemble cast · friendship · comedy · DnD

What I liked

As the plot moves forward, this unfolds into a more complex piece. The campy tone remains throughout, but the plot veers into an odd live-action version of a well-known fantasy role-playing game.

As the characters discover what they must do to survive, each learns about themselves and gathers confidence in their own worth. The weird idea of horror-cliche characters folding into a Dungeons and Dragons adventure story manages to bring out some big laughs. More importantly, the adventures of these friends manages to bring out some sincere connections of people facing adverse situations together and just helping each other out. That alone makes the piece enjoyable and fun. The real fun rests in the cast’s sincerity which brings home the message that we could all use a little help sometime.

What I didn't like

I wish the final confrontation had been played for a slightly bigger scale. The audience was truly invested and obviously wanted to witness these characters meet the “villain.” It would have been nice to see that final sequence be longer and more dramatic.
This is probably a limitation of the Fringe format (time and space) and is a minor quibble with the show.

My overall impression

In one of the cleverest twists I have seen at Fringe this year, this goofy, endearing comedy treats you to a silly premise that turns into a wonderful message about living life to the fullest.

The entire cast manages to hit the right balance of camp and sincerity to make this work. The final scenes strike genuinely moving heartfelt moments of honesty.

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