**** Jamie Blake
“I Love You” the three most over used words in the English language and also words which have the most emotional impact on the human condition. It’s these three words that Ravenrock Productions have chosen to use as the basis for their new work “Jamie Blake” at the fringe this year.
Writer and Director Ashley Scott-Layton has taken mixture of beat boxing, modern dance and drama and used the experience of year in the life of himself and his friends to create a story that examines Jamie Blake’s (Rupert Lazarus) need to feel love and how he believes what is in reality, just a crush, is the love of his life. It really does bring home the point of view that what one person feels is never what the object of one’s affection feels. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that all of us have been on, I found myself completely understanding of Jamie’s journey as I too have felt love for someone and never had it returned and I’m sure the rest of audience in attendance could similarly relate.
With an excellent ensemble company producing the beat box and vocal score accompanied by original composer Rhys Lewis on Guitar it gives the production a very fresh and contemporary feel and also makes the show crack along at quite a pace very much like real life. Grace Savage is to be commended for her beat box orchestrations and she too joins the company on stage in the role of Betine. The one thing that keeps the show back from a five star affair for me is the inclusion of Luke Murphy as Alex while Luke’s performance is exemplary the fact that Alex is a stereotypical Homosexual character out to add comedy to the bulk of the show while never letting the audience see that gay people feel the same emotions as those of the counterparts really is a wasted opportunity. That Said Luke does flex his acting muscles wonderfully in the emotional ending of the show, its shame his character is portrayed as a sex mad homo and nothing else during the earlier scenes.
If you want fresh, innovative theatre with just a little stereotyping this fringe then this show is a top of the list production; you can’t fail to be charmed by it.