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Fringe Review: Hunch @ Assembly Roxy

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Produced by DugOut Theatre and directed by Sara Joyce, Hunch is a super-powered story of love and the hard choices we make for it.

Performed and written by Kate Kennedy, it follows the story of Una, an awkward, meek woman who feels physically ill when forced to make decisions. When she saves a restaurant from a hidden bomb whilst breaking down over what to order, she discovers she has the superpower to know other peoples’ gut-decisions. Invited to work with the superheroes of the city as ‘Hunch’, she meets Head, Heart, Genitals, and Hack who all work to help guide the citizens of Hum.

Images courtesy of Chloe Nelkin Consulting

The stage set for Hunch was very cramped. A small cubic area, lined with a black backdrop, with two large lights, two chairs, a small table, and a step ladder. At first glance it looked messy, possibly amateurish, until Kennedy claimed the space with her booming vocals and towering physique, as she commanded the technical effects with rapid, power gestures.

In a crimson pant-suit and a belt sporting a large ‘H’, she jumped between characters with such conviction and energy that it was hard to believe she was the only performer. Her careful attention to the vocal and physical qualities of each role meant that every character was memorable from the cunning supervillain to a gurgling baby on one of Hunch’s ‘summons’.

As the piece continued, I was concerned that such an abstract premise, reinforced by the various ‘New-Speak’ idiosyncrasies Kennedy included in her world - such as calling animals by the sound they make - would descend into farce and swallow up the layers of detail that Kennedy had been building.

I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself being drawn into the vulnerability of her characters as they faced death, grief, and guilt, whilst enjoying the bizarre comedy bits such as Una’s “avant-garde exit” as she awkwardly sang her way out of a room to avoid arguing with her boyfriend.

With kudos to the fabulous technical work that helped outline the audiences’ impression of Hum and its superheroes, Hunch left me incredibly surprised. I entered the theatre with little knowledge of the cast or the play and have left feeling like I’ve witnessed something with real power behind it. It’s cheesy, but I’ll say it, I’ve a real Hunch that we’ll continue seeing great things from Kennedy and the rest of the crew.

Hunch will be playing at the Assembly Roxy (downstairs) until August 27th, and tickets can be purchased here.

This article is part of our coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Click here to read other articles written by our contributors. 
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