Review: It's Alright, Everything's Okay by Anorak

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
32040 large
It's Alright, Everything's OK
Published 11 Aug 2018

Keep calm and carry on no longer cuts it. No matter how many times the two young women trapped in Anorak’s abstract anxiety attack of a play try to reassure each other that things will turn out just fine, it’s pretty clear that things can only get shitter.

Sealed into a claustrophobic shipping container, It’s Alright, Everything’s Okay feels a little like a mindfulness boot camp – he sort that screams at you to chill the fuck out. Maddy Burgess and Ellie Stone fix smiles to their faces and start a soothing seminar that quickly unravels into a howling, hyperventiliating mess – a melange of everything that’s wrong with the world.

From incoming climate change to extant colonial privilege, spiralling house prices to plummeting markets, It’s Alright... frets about the lot. While Stone’s sweet, childish innocent quivers at everything, Burgess’s sterner presence shouts her down: “Bad things will happen,” she says, “But not to us.” It catches something of a societal split – panicked liberal paralysis drowned out by us-versus-them attack.

There’s spark to Nash’s rhythmic writing, but the fears it catalogues are too generic to carry much weight. When the women’s world gives way, their squirrel-chewing, hole-living aftermath feels too removed from reality – an illustration of the coming apocalypse rather than a vision of it. A stuttering student production doesn’t do it any favours, with blackouts intended to unsettle merely breaking the flow of a text that’s loses sight of its own naivety.