Blink: When happy endings aren’t enough

Publicity image from Blink

Phil Porter’s Blink  is one of the best plays to come out of the Edinburgh Fringe and you absolutely must see it if it’s coming your way.

I could end the review right here. Seriously, this play is best watched cold, without knowing a single thing about it. But if you must hear some spoiler-free reasons for why to go, the two flawed characters in it are thoroughly believable down to the last weakness, its 80 minutes is packed with more depth than most plays achieve in twice the length, and even a cold-hearted bastard like me was emotional by the end of it. Right. Stop reading. Buy your ticket now.

If you absolutely must read on, I will keep this as spoiler-lite as can be. Blink is billed as a dysfunctional love story. Normally, as soon as the word “love story” mentioned you should be wary. They are notorious for being crowd-pleasers where audiences will swallow any old tosh just so long as they get together at the end and live happily ever after. Maybe not so much theatre, but film and TV definitely. But this looked different from the start. The key image is of Jonah (Thomas Pickles) and Sophie (Lizzy Watts) sitting at desks outdoors in greenery. Interesting publicity images don’t always guarantee good plays; more often than not it’s a gimmick with no relevance to the story. Not here. Everything you see at the beginning is relevant later on. Won’t spoil it. Except for one detail.

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