Extra Review: Chemistry, The Bungo

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Perhaps the best thing about the Southside Fringe is the ragtag nature of it all.

It’s a compliment, and one that can rarely be paid to a festival of its scale — but maybe because it’s still new (in its second year), and has avoided the over-corporate route thus far, the Fringe feels like what other community events should be.

The West End festival can keep its yummy mummy yoga — give me a new piece of theatre in the dark bunker of a pub any day.

Which brings me to Chemistry — D:Pend Theatre’s Southside Fringe offering deep down in the depths of The Bungo.

The premise is simple enough; lonely workaholic Matthew is on a quest for a scientific formula which will bring him the woman of his dreams. It’s a slippery slope which leads to obsessive categorising, alphabetising and multiple online dating profiles...but all that might just change when a curious stranger appears at his door claiming to Errol Flynn...

Alright, it doesn’t sound so simple written on paper — but it’s a relatively easy equation (and Matthew likes those, as we find out) of boy meets potentially crazy guy meets girl.

Writer and director Glen Dickson has produced an engaging script which has some laugh-out-loud funny moments, all delivered with confidence by a small cast of three until a final (and genuinely surprising) twist.

Ross Wight is utterly convincing as the over-analytical Matthew and draws more than a few giggles as the character begins to give over to his wild side, while Karen Fraser (trained at Langside College, no less) excels as the sassy and overtly sexual Carol.

But the star of the show is without question Vince Docherty, obviously relishing the chance to play multiple characters in the body of one man, and giving it his all — whether it’s stalking across the floor with an unusual weapon in hand or leading the charge of the light brigade.

The Bungo’s back room doesn’t allow for a huge audience, but the result is an intimate piece of theatre which feels like more of a laugh between friends.

Whether it’s between boy and girl, boy and golden era film star or theatre company and audience, it’s all about chemistry — and this small-scale comedy has that (and the charm to go with it) in spades.

Chemistry is back at The Bungo tonight (Thursday) at 7.30pm — tickets are £6/£5, available on the door.