I Think We Are Alone at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh
Loneliness is the scourge of our society. We may not be alone in the world, and have family and friends, but technology and the pressure of modern living often mean that we forget how to communicate.

Such is the idea behind Sally Abbott’s bittersweet play about people who struggle with relationships. It is about letting go and holding on, and Frantic Assembly’s production (with the Theatre Royal Plymouth and Curve) conjures up a fractured society, illustrated by Ella Wahlstrom’s discombobulated soundscape and Morgan Large’s set, which consists only of huge oblongs of opaque glass, implying the barriers people create for themselves. However, a significant part of the play is taken up with the actors pushing these obstacles around in a sort of bizarre dance, and although they are meant to set each scene, I found this distracting and awkward.

I have no such qualms about the performances, however. In spite of the lack of any traditional set, every well-rounded character totally draws you into their story. They may have trouble expressing themselves they actors certainly don’t. Not one of them failed to leave me with a lump in my throat.

There’s Chizzy Akudolu as Josie, a mum who mourns the death of her dog more than her father, while holding on to her son Manny ( Caleb Roberts) who is fighting against going to university; Charlotte Bate as hospice nurse Ange and her alcoholic sister Clare (Polly Frame), who haven’t spoken to each other for years; Bex (Simone Saunders), who is facing cancer with positivity, and cabbie Graham, played by Andrew Turner in a performance I found most moving as he visits some very dark places.

All go on huge, heartrending journeys, which many audience members may identify with. But such is the skill of Sally Abbott’s writing and Kathy Burke’s co-direction that every downer is swiftly followed by an upper and I Think We Are Alone is beautifully balanced between pathos and humour.

I Think We Are Alone is at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh until Feb 22.
It then continues touring:
Feb 25-Mar 21: Theatre Royal, Stratford East
Feb 24-28: Curve, Leicester
Mar 31-Apr 4: Nuffield Southampton Theatres
Apr 14-18: Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
Apr 21-25: Northern Stage, Newcastle
Apr 28-May 2: Bristol Old Vic
May 5-9: Oxford Playhouse
May 12-16: The Lowry, Salford