Luna (Lauren Gauge) is visceral and raw and ready to party. Dance a lot, drink a lot, shag a lot – who cares when you’re young. She has that stereotypically manly attitude, “You’re in luck tonight if you’re an ugly man”, but she’s a powerful, no muss no fuss woman. She’s the spoken word filling to Georgia Bliss’ and Haydn-Sky Bauzon’s musical, beatboxing sandwich. Then she falls for a guy – what a fool. They settle down and become The Unmarried. This is Luna’s tale and it’s beautifully ballsy.
Gauge hits us between the eyes with harsh, fast, heady rhyming couplets right from the off. It’s all cadence and addictive, trance-like verse. Effortlessly intermingling with garage and house style 90s songs, she evokes memories of a millennial’s childhood with glorious abandon. One of the early risers in the binge drinking culture, Luna goes out with three missions – drink, drugs and sex. None of this relationship bollocks.
If Gauge’s poetry is the soul of the night, then Bliss’ silky vocals and Bauzon’s percussive beatboxing are the heartbeat. Even when not at the forefront of the action, they lie back and provide an atmospheric backing, the wing-people ready to help Gauge score, in whichever way she likes that night.
Then Luna (Gauge) commits the unthinkable crime – she falls in love. Fun fuck Pete becomes DIY, gardening on the weekends, spending your life with Pete. He is her new drug and she can’t get enough. From the clubs and the hangovers to the corporate rat race, the heady mix of work hard play hard that we all associate ourselves with; it’s the motto of the FOMO-twenty somethings. Even in this transition, Gauge understands what we think and feel as millennials. She is, after all, one of us.
But the lack of sexual promiscuity becomes detrimental, begs to be released for one last fuck. With such pent-up frustration and regret at a life left behind, Luna ventures out for one last bit of fun – and almost shoots herself in the foot when she’s sat looking at a pregnancy test afterwards. There’s the realisation that Gauge is highly aware of – we always linger on the energy of our teens and early twenties, we are desperate to relive our youth instead of admitting that we have inadvertently left it behind.
The Unmarried is a story about growing up. It’s on point and conceptually clever, but it’s a tale we’ve all heard before. It strays into being repetitive in parts, never sufficiently switching the pace to bring in new intriguing perspectives. But in the end, it pulsates to the beat of the accompanying soundtrack and the flashing lights, a choice of accepting that your life changes as you grow older, or deciding to live your youth again and again and again. Gauge fires us with the facts and gives us the choice, as we dance on into the promise of a massive night out.
The Unmarried plays Underbelly Med Quad, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 until 28 August 2017. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
Follow the link to an interview with writer and performer, Lauren Gauge.