Whilst the stage is bare, in Bobby & Amy‘s storytelling we meaningfully escape to the Cotswolds. Travelling through homes and fields, shops and farms to create a broad reaching storyline. Kimberly Jarvis and Will Howard not only explore the depth in character of Amy and Bobby but an array of local residents. Humour and depth is offered to explore challenging themes.
Walking away from the performance there is a sense of awe in the exploration of these themes. Emily Jenkins’ new play is a coming of age story set in a tragic context. Bobby and Amy are far from likely friends and it is in their individual circumstances that empathy is created. The friendship is initially established to offset these challenges. From school bullies to grief and distracted parents. The story takes an even darker turn as foot-and-mouth disease takes hold of the town.
It is Kimberly Jarvis and Will Howard’s ability to create such assured characters which is stays with you. The slick transition between characters is not only bold and confident but the nuances of the array of residents make each recognisable and memorable. Both Bobby and Amy are instantly personable and endearing, the ability of the two actors to create such convincing portrayals within a fast pace enable a convincing and hard hitting storyline.
The blank canvas allows the storyline to shine. Leaving the performance having encountered so many different forms of tragedy seems incomprehensible, that it is achieved with such humour underlines the skill of this production.
With an all-female creative team, Bobby & Amy is an absolute joy in simplicity and storytelling, showing how friendships can be created and sustained through the most challenging of lifetimes.
Bobby & Amy is at the Pleasance Courtyard as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You can see the production at 12.45 until Monday 26th August (exc. 12th).
Disclosure: This review is part of media accreditation for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe through the Network of Independent Critics. All views and opinions contained are my own.