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Gym Party will make you question your life. Chris (Christopher Brett Bailey), Jess (Jessica Latowicki) and Jen (Jenna Watt) battle it out in this fierce and feisty, neon-lit popularity contest that plays upon our natural evolutionary drive to win.

Chris, Jess and Jen are losers (the stereotypical kind with nosebleeds) but they want to be winners. Gym Party exposes the dark depths of the universal desire to be the best and to be better than others in a game-show set up that starts off as fun and games with rounds such as ‘Who can eat the most little oranges?’ and ‘Who can catch the most Skittles thrown by an audience member’ with the contestants professing their love for one another and their sickly sweet ability to share everything.

The battle quickly becomes personal. In the next round the audience are asked to vote for one of the contestants in answer to increasingly sinister questions ‘Who is best looking?’, ‘Who has never cheated on a partner?’ and finally ‘If you could only save one from certain death, who would it be?’ We don’t really know Chris, Jess or Jen but must judge them and, to our shock, we realise we have been doing all along. Such is the nature of Gym Party‘s clever and scathing social commentary.

The most uncomfortable scene is the losers’ punishments. Their flaws are pointed out and publicly criticised before they are made to smile – a fate that is surely everyone’s worst nightmare. The message of Gym Party is to be the best that you can be. If that is better than others then that’s great but if not then that’s ok too. Idealistic? Certainly, but Gym Party‘s stylish and quirky lesson in self-acceptance is one that everyone needs to see and learn.

  • Drama
  • Made in China Theatre
  • Summerhall
  • Until 25th August 2013
  • Time: 18:30 (Duration: 1 hour 5 mins)
  • Review by Rowena Hawkins
  • 20th August 2013

About The Author

Reviewer (UK)

Rowena recently completed her degree at King's College London. She loves art, cinema and all kinds of theatre, from the classics to the experimental, and has a particular fondness for Shakespeare. Rowena has worked with international theatre festival LIFT and won the IdeasTap and A Younger Theatre Edinburgh Young Critics Scheme 2014. She was also selected as one of In Between Time 2015's Festival Writers.

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