Student-led company Black Light Theatre have voluntarily thrown themselves into the deep end by debuting their first production, The Last Bubble, in Edinburgh. It’s a bold move by a very young company, and that has to be admired. The play follows the journey five friends take when one of them is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Each of them deals with the news in different ways, not least the patient himself, and the play explores how they all try to come to terms with it.
To put it bluntly, The Last Bubble is as fringe as fringe gets – black box theatre, basic props and design and a DIY ethos. It’s exactly the kind of show that the company should be making at this stage in its existence. There’s an extra pressure on any company when bringing something to the Fringe, but the young performers come out fighting. Megan Sinclair and Kyle Stead especially stand out, while Deryn Evans makes a solid effort at what is an extremely difficult part.
While it’s not always to the play’s benefit, every character is given their moment to shine. It means the play doesn’t always stay consistent tonally, but it also means that the actors are given the space and the opportunity to express themselves. Ultimately, it’s the company’s decision to reach for this opportunity that is their biggest accomplishment, and the fact they’ve made an engaging piece of theatre is a welcome bonus. Wales’ fringe scene has been thriving for some time now, but it’s a pleasure to see that spilling on to an international stage.