The Mancunion

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Fringe Preview: Novel Experiments In Living

A writer and his writer’s block are about to embark on their biggest adventure yet, the Edinburgh Fringe


A writer, a love interest, and a critic scale the pages of their own play as they try to discover what’s scripted and what’s not. Lose the plot with this fast-paced, mind-bending new comedy.

After Novel Experiments in Living’s success in Manchester the production is preparing to up sticks and move to Edinburgh’s Fringe festival.

Novel Experiments In Living follows some characters in a script, as they discover, to various extents, that they’re characters in a script. Canvasing the anxieties, pretentions and crippling introspection of generation Y, it asks “is it better to be handed a blank page or be trapped in a pre-assigned role? Is it possible to be original in a world saturated with ideas and influences? Is it cooler to actually like The Smiths or ironically like Abba?”

Through slick choreography scenes arrange, rearrange, and deconstruct themselves in a scattered world of typewriters, balled-up paper and plastic lobsters. Fast-paced, farcical and relentlessly funny, critics chase characters who’ve killed their authors, and love interests despair on discovering that they’re a pastiche of pop culture references.

“It’s a love story, it’s a social commentary, it’s a coming-of-age tale. (It’s pretentious, it’s confusing, it screams student theatre)”, says the promotional material. “It’s a play that writes itself. (It’s a play that critiques itself). Lose the plot with this mind bending new comedy. (Nah don’t bother, I hear Alistair McGowan’s at the fringe this year…)”

Written and directed by Rob Paterson, produced by Lily Ashton and starring Calum Pearce, Novel Experiments In Living has been described as a play “for a generation who feel defined by the culture they consume”, while Dr. David Butler, Senior Lecturer at the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama states that, “Novel Experiments… skilfully contrasts mature and sincere reflections upon being a young adult in the early 21st century with glorious silliness.”

If you saw Novel Experiments in Living in Manchester and enjoyed it as much as we did, why not support them? The production have a GoFundMe page which you can find here. But you don’t just have to wave goodbye to your generous donation: different amounts create different prizes.

Donating £10 will get you a special souvenir program in which you’ll be personally thanked. £25 will get you a professionally printed poster signed by the entire cast and crew. And if you’re incredibly generous, £50 will get Manchester Indie Band The Vanity Project, who supplied the soundtrack of the production, to write you a personalised song of thanks.

Be kind, dig deep and support Paterson and his team on their road to Fringe festivities.