Meat Lab Theatre’s Pits is a drama about a Geordie night out on the town, following Mackenzie and her friend Ellie who hit Newcastle, we are invited into their home to witness the high-drama of their household.
The story itself isn’t cohesive, we follow a group of Geordie girls on a night out but the story is too fragmented to make sense. Whether it’s the mother’s random drunken rage, the daughter getting with her brother’s sister or the brother committing a racist attack.
I felt uncomfortable during this show because of the distinct racism. They try to play off different jokes but it feels dated and offensive. There is a moment when the brother is going on a huge racist rant, but there is no retribution. No one condemning him, he just spurts racist spiel and then gets on with it. It’s really difficult to watch and had I not been reviewing the show I’d have walked out at this moment.
Louise Barron, the writer and lead female in the show, has great intentions. The show has potential but needs straightening out. I understand the racism is part of the show and depicts the character, but the show needs to convey it in a more appropriate way. It’s completely tasteless and is painful to sit through.
The acting is weak and we rush through some scenes and others drag on far too long. The pace of the show is out of sync and it’s difficult to follow the story. There are some funny moments, particularly the dad played by Joshua Picton who has mastered comedic timing well. Louise herself has a natural stage presence but the part doesn’t show that off well enough.
The story flips from this bizarre night out to Mackenzie wanting to pursue a stand-up comedy career so the show then turns into a stand-up gig. It’s messy and has no direction, flicking between different comedy styles that don’t flow well together. I admire the creativity and Louise Barron shows a talent for writing, but play doesn’t quite cut it for me.
Pits is on at Edinburgh Fringe at Underbelly, Bristo Square at 22:00.