Living A Little ★★★★★

Living a Little offers laughter, tears…oh and a zombie apocalypse

In Riot House Theatre’s offbeat comedy, Living a Little, the zombie apocalypse is upon us, forcing two friends to turn their flat into a secure space where the undead can’t get to them. They are not the most obvious of companions. Rob is a foul-mouthed, crass Scottish lad. While Paul is a somewhat camp, highly strung Northerner. But they have food, state of the art audio visual equipment and lashings of alcohol. Oh, and plenty of ice and lube. (You’ll see.) 

Their little oasis of safety is interrupted by an interloper, Penelope, who has been surviving in rather grimmer conditions, and the gents offer her sanctuary.  

If the premise is absurd, it’s merely a device to confine characters and have them examine the very relatable notions of friendship, trust, security, and loss. Which all sounds rather dry and contemplative, but Finlay Bain’s script has no time for navel-gazing. Littered with expletives and belly-laughs, the dialogue zips along at a cracking pace, delivered by three note-perfect performances. 

Writer Bain takes the role of Rob. In another’s hands, this could be a cheap Francis Begbie knockoff. But Bain brings wit, charm and tenderness to the characterisation. With most of the overt comedy deftly handled by Paul Thirkell’s Paul, Christie Russell-Brown as Penelope (“Fuckin’ Penelope!”) has perhaps the hardest job as the buzzkill who punctures the party with doses of reality. Her earthy turn, however, is a gift, providing necessary weight as the story’s arc develops.

Jordan Murphy’s stellar direction ensures that there’s barely a wasted scene here. In fact, if there’s a criticism to be made, it’s that it would have been fun to have spent a bit more time with these characters than the 60 minutes we enjoy.  

Having originally played during The Vault Festival in 2017, Living a Little is an energetic, hilarious and, ultimately, poignant experience that fully deserves to find a large audience. 

Whoops! This apocalypse is a treat – The Recs gives Living a Little a well-deserved ★★★★★ (5 stars)

and hopes that bigger things are ahead after the Fringe

Living a Little Tickets

Living a Little runs Underbelly, Cowgate Belly Button until 28 August

Book Tickets