Pleasance Courtyard
5-31 August (ex. 18,25) 19.40

Stand By Your VanYou wanna get your hands on this truck?
You gotta keep your hands on this truck…

12 contestants set out on this competition of endurance in the hope of winning the ultimate prize: a four by four truck. Lights flash from the audience to the gleaming model that is positioned centre stage amidst stretching, hyped up contenders baying for the camera’s attention and the audiences’ affection. Down from the aisle runs our host for the duration of the competition, fast paced introductions are made and then off we go: three, two, one “stand by your van!”

You feel you have been thrust into a game show and it is a spectacle to behold. Riding on the format of reality endurance shows, this production condenses 80 hours of action into 80 minutes of interactive, ‘live competition’ theatre, complete with rivalry, underhand alliances, romance and revelation.

Initially we are served with the expected stereotypes: Jane (pronounced Janae) the blond model from Essex, an eco-warrior, a geeky Welsh virgin, a single mum of two who wants a “Tonka” truck for her children, an ex soldier, a volatile Scotsman, a born-again Christian, and a bewildered granny to name but a few. Yet these 2D stereotypes begin to crumble and are neatly subverted to become lucid characters as time passes and they are affected by boredom and sleep deprivation.

Although at times one feels part of the endurance test, the ending of this show was so beautifully crafted that it made it worth the wait. This show cleverly gets underneath the glitzy veneer of reality programmes, providing an entertaining and thought provoking piece of theatre.

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