ANYTHING With A Pulse is a play all about dating in a world where peer pressure is sometimes overbearing and opinions about the opposite sex formed too quickly. Wrong choices, missed opportunities.
The play, written and directed by Eliana Ostro, sizzles away like a sparkler. It’s vibrant, of the moment, and possesses two young and talented actors in Rufus Love and Annie Davison.
M (Love) and W (Davison) – in their twenties – meet in a night club. M, reeling from a relationship breakup, is out with his mates and he is being goaded to move on and have fun. W is there with best friend Fran, making all the moves on the dance floor. Their paths collide, they talk and he asks for her phone number. But nothing happens. M is pulled away by his friends while W wonders whether M is too much of a nice guy.
They go their separate ways. M, Bubbles to his friends, comes under immense pressure from his mates to play the field – mates such as Steve and Bradley who are brilliantly played by a chirpy and cheeky Davison. Conquests there are aplenty (Cassie and Tara) although it’s Lucy (again, played by Davison) that tickles his fancy the most. W is equally determined to have fun, ending up falling for Olly (Love), a handsome Irishman who has the gift of the gab but seems a little too controlling.
Yet it’s not until M and F meet again in the nightclub that they realise they really do have a connection that they have failed to act on. A connection a text could ignite.
Anything With a Pulse is a berocca-fuelled play, fizzing with attitude from start to finish. There’s a funny sex scene that will make you smile and plenty of dancing (Davison has all the moves). Importantly, it highlights the personal insecurities that often lurk under our surfaces like jellyfish and gnaw away at our self-confidence. It also demonstrates the pressure to conform rather than to be bold and strike out alone. To trust our own judgements, not those of others.
This is a fresh play that should do well at Edinburgh Fringe. It’s demanding to watch as Love and Davison constantly switch character – sometimes only noticeable by a subtle change in accent – although of course the demands on the pair as actors is far higher.
A super debut production from Wonky Donkey, formed by Ostro and Tara Ahmed (the play’s assistant director). Some great sounds (and vibes) from Temi Olugbenga (sound design).
Anything With A Pulse will play at Edinburgh Fringe from August 2 to 26 (not 17th). Venue: ZOO Playground, Playground 3, High School Yards EH1 1LZ