Tomorrow Maybe – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C Nova

2016TOMORRO_DETomorrow Maybe at C Nova, until 29 August.

Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Crammed into a tiny venue space, the audience sits cheek-by-jowl with the performers – eavesdropping on the lives of the people who come to Rosa’s coffee shop. Sylvia Medina plays Rosa with a calm assuredness, an antidote to the harassed world her patrons inhabit. There is a recurring theme around the selfishness of people as they become increasingly dissociated from where they ACTUALLY are – keeping the ‘virtual’ world closer to them than the real world – as Rosa ponders: ‘Does anyone give a damn?’

The cast interprets a range of characters, each denoted by a change of clothing – the quick change areas offstage must be a sight to behold We see off-duty workers, ambitious wannabes, budding romance, homelessness, travellers and much more besides as they pass through the coffee shop, their subconscious or the ‘unspoken’ forming the songs. The numbers make you laugh, the songs make you weep, the songs give a pause to consider life beneath the surface.

Making a virtue of the small space, the ensemble sing of the commuters’ hell – snappy, witty and giving a glimpse of the sounds that lie ahead. Stephanie Amies’ harmonies have long been praised, and in this intimate setting your ears feel awash with sound.  If Amies’ melodies don’t give you goosebumps, you should have your hearing checked – this is a delight to be savoured.

There are excellent moments in this song cycle: the ‘One Way Ticket to Mars/Venus’ number is laugh-out-loud funny as is the comic book hero’s song. The ‘Little Boat’ scene is a really touching, moving number as is the ‘Look Into My Eyes’ refrain.  The small band – percussion, keys, wind – convey the mood of each number perfectly, a flexible foil to the sung performances.

Be prepared to want to return to Rosa’s coffee shop – it’s magical.

Fiona Orr

ACJ Productions

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