I first saw Living a Little at London’s King’s Head Theatre back in 2017, long before the word pandemic would pop up in everyday use. It’s gone on to have incredible success since, and now makes a welcome return to the Edinburgh Fringe, playing at the Underbelly Cowgate venue.
Written by Edinburgh local Finlay Bain, you’d be forgiven for thinking there wasn’t much new to add to the Zombie genre, there’s half a dozen shows at this year’s Fringe alone featuring the flesh-eating undead. But there’s something different about Living a Little. Instead of focussing on the zombies themselves, Bain’s script looks at the friendships forged in effective lockdown.
Rob and Paul have found themselves in a fortunate position, somehow they have managed to bunker down in a relatively secure flat, they’ve managed to hook up some generators and plant fruit trees on the roof, and Rob’s panic buying means they have a sufficient stockpile to keep them going.
The arrival of Penelope changes the dynamic, and when she tells tales of the horrors that are occurring outside, Rob and Paul are fairly non-plussed, because they’ve made the decision that if you’re going to survive, they might as well live a little.
The constant party inside the flat makes for some exceptionally funny situations to arise, but the strength of this play, directed by Jordan Murphy, lies in its explorations of friendship, and the dynamics between two characters who are total opposites of each other.
Foul language, outrageous characters and a well-crafted script, make Living a Little an absolute triumph. The concept of being trapped indoors while chaos reigns outside seems a little less outlandish than it did in 2017, but the quality of the production remains in good health.