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Review of UoN Fringe 2019: Escape Route by Kyla Kares at The Platform Club, Northampton

The third show of this year's Fringe increased the really good quality of the shows so far to properly superb as solo performer Kyla Williams presented Escape Route, a quite remarkable piece of theatre from a clearly multi-talented performer.

Taking similar themes of mental health from the previous show, Escape Route centred more on suicide in both it's successful attempts, failures and what it means to be left behind. Using others and her own personal recollections, Williams creates a desperately sad at times depiction of life, yet, but makes it at resolution a most remarkably uplifting one with a truly inspired ending as well.

Williams is unquestionably an amazing performer, able to deliver the stories in clear and distinctive ways. Each of the characters from young Caitlin, to the runner escaping life by running around, the very familiar to me Racecourse, and onto the cabaret singer asking "is that all there is?", are brilliantly realised. This is such a sharp performance from Williams, and a brilliantly put together piece, it might already be the best show of the week.

While this is intelligently constructed as a piece of theatre, it could still be stale and wordy in anyone else's hands. Williams though can sing superbly, performs a beautiful contemporary dance, and creates a brilliant physical movement scene bringing about the pain of one person's life history to life thought sharp, stilted moves. Also, included is one of the most brilliant lip synced pieces I have seen, perfect in timing and mannerisms, so much so, you truly can't believe that this is being vocalised live.

It is rare that I am so impressed by a piece of theatre such as this, maybe my own personal situation helped me understand it more and appreciate it, however also this is clearly stunning work and one of the best solo pieces I have seen, and to leave uplifted from a play about a subject such as this is a tremendous achievement. Simply stunning.

Performance viewed: Monday 29th April 2019

The Fringe Festival 2019 runs until Sunday 5th May 2019 at The Platform Club Northampton, and one show at Hazelrigg House.

Details here: Fringe Festival 2019

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