This show finished on Monday 29 August 2022, and this page is being kept for archival purposes only.

The Rip Current


Thursday 18 August - Monday 29 August 2022


Pleasance Upper Hall


10/9 & 7/6


Molly Keating


An experimental nosedive into Jamie’s fractured past. Struggling to assimilate at Cambridge university, Jamie makes an unlikely connection with former Etonian – Bertie. As Jamie battles to discover himself, he can’t seem to escape the past; a past he can’t quite piece together. With the absence of his estranged father, Ruairidh, starting to take its toll. Jamie’s relationship with his single-mother, Bridie, is pushed to the limit. Lean in and exhale as you sink into Jamie’s distorted world whist he fights, with everything he has, to keep his head above water.

Content Warnings:
- Contains Distressing Themes
- Strong Language/Swearing
- Scenes of Violence
- Strobe Lighting

Cast and Crew


Actor (Bridie) Megan Burns

Actor (Ruiraidh) Max Hanover

Assistant Producer Fatima Bouzidi

Co-Director/Writer Molly Keating

Co-Sound Designer Mick Zijdel

Lighting Designer Jacob Henney

Producer Fiona Forster

Set Manager Marie Gaasø Rimolsrønning

Stage Manager Rose Marin Roberts

Tech Manager Martha Barrow

Review for The Rip Current -

Thursday 25 August - By David Pollock for The Scotsman

A young Scotsman named Jamie goes to university and struggles to fit in next to his poised, confident and comically caricatured upper class roommate. Their exchanges get increasingly heated, and we flash back to Jamie’s earlier life, where we see the alcoholism and domestic violence which shaped his family. This four-handed piece from Edinburgh University Theatre Company tries hard in all the right places, yet doesn’t have the power or poise to conjure something new or strikingly truthful from the heavy subject matter. It’s one of those ‘right to fail’ Fringe plays, where the experience for young company members is more important than the end product.

Review for The Rip Current -

Saturday 20 August - By Kenneth Scott for Edinburgh Guide

Jamie has been away from his home in rural Scotland for six weeks and on his return seems more distant.

He has been attempting to settle into university life in Cambridge but that assimilation into a very different world has led him questioning just what his own story is.

Home is a place that he used to find scary, but he can feel comfortable in the dark where he can’t find anyone else to blame. But blame he does, as he thinks that his protective mother, Bridie drove his father, Ruairidh away. She didn’t let young Jamie fly, at least not with his dad who is reduced to a memory of stubble, musty cinnamon and rolled cigarettes.

An absent parent might be the only thing he has in common with upper class Bertie in Cambridge who views him as a stereotypical confrontational Scot, belittling him for colloquialisms and the likelihood of him establishing drinking bragging rights with Buckfast and whisky.

As Jamie fights with his mum and his nightmares the truth of his parents 12-year marriage is exposed, the trauma and struggle showing that his father was far from the hero that he recalls. He is fighting hard to dive into the depths of his memories when he could let it wash over him. His relationships at home and in the outside world will be sink or swim.

This debut work is billed as being experimental and as pushing conventional theatrical boundaries to the limit. It uses a nonlinear structure and brief rewinds of scenes with slightly varied outcomes but otherwise is fairly traditional. It does not feel like the show that was envisaged.

The direction has clearly been given thought and the production, with a brooding quality, is not without power. The acting is good if a little melodramatic and the set and lighting design simple but effective.

An interesting new work but the various threads don’t ultimately resolve into anything impactful.

Review for The Rip Current -

Tuesday 06 September - By Hannah Goslin for Get The Chance Wales

The Pleasance are pioneers in new writing and staging wonderful productions. The Rip Current, a debut piece written by Molly Keating, featured at the Pleasance, which in itself, should be an achievement for these early career artists.

The Rip Current sees the story of Jamie as he attends Cambridge University, all the way from Scotland. But it doesn’t turn out to be everything he had worked hard for. He begins to feel disconnected to life and it leads to him delving into his past, asking the questions he longed to ask about his estranged father and finding out who he really is.

For a first production at fringe, The Rip Current is a good start to what could be a fantastic production. The concepts of growing up, of discovering your past and who you are, to family, domestic violence, Scottish culture are all great combinations and highlight many a relatable issue.

The performers clearly put their heart and soul into their characters and did well to portray with believable emotion what was needed from them for the story line. Not one broke character and therefore created extremely believable scenes and relationships.

However, this production felt as if it was still in an infant stage. This isn’t to criticise or to say that this production wasn’t any good, because it was, but it still felt as if it needed some tweaking and working on, as all great productions do in their development till they reach ultimate success. The performers perhaps focussed too much on the sheer painful emotions and so lost a little of the different emotional levels that could be experienced within naturalism.

They also made the mistake that we all do at some point in theatre of relying heavily on set and props. Much of what was put on stage seemed to function more as a way for performers to keep their hands busy, when it wasn’t necessarily needed or added to the plot. Taking away some and filling those voids with confidence in their characters and performance would avoid distraction for the audience but also help with their character and story development.

The Rip Current is very much a great starting point for this young company. All the elements are there and it is in great shape for a first production. With continued work, this production could prove to be something quite special.


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