Candy @ ZOOTV
Candy is a short but sweet solo show that reflects on sexuality, love and loss
Reboot Theatre Company's solo show Candy is available to view as part of the Fringe's online, on-demand programme. It's a welcome addition to this year's festival for those who are anxious or unable to attend in-person due to COVID-19, and the fact that audience members can access theatre from the comfort of their own homes is a huge positive for the Fringe. However, ZOOTV does fall rather short of expectations on the inclusivity front, with no option to add closed captions for the benefit of the D/deaf community.
Putting these problems aside, however, Candy is an excellent and candid portrayal of love, loss and sexuality. Michael Waller is captivating as Will, the protaganist of this one-man show who describes how hopelessly in love he is with the unobtainable Candy.
Waller's intimate conversational style allows for the true feelings behind his words to be felt. A scene that shares Will's perceptions of love prior to meeting Candy perfectly encapsulates so many people's feelings about the way you cannot believe in true love until you experience it. Additionally, the simpliciy of the staging allows Waller's acting talent to shine through: your face lights up with his when he talks about the first time he knew he loved Candy.
The revelation that Candy is, in fact, Will's friend Billy in drag takes the performance in a hugely important direction, bringing sexuality discourse to the forefront. Waller handles the confusion of his seemingly straight character Will with grace and empathy. Tim Fraser's writing is also sensitive – Will has the respect to use Candy's correct pronouns throughout and navigates his own feelings about the situation with the nuance it deserves.
The show takes an interesting format, with the camera following Will across the stage and around the room rather than reflecting the view of the would-be audience. This does have the effect of making the performance feel more like a short film rather than theatre and the sense of liveness is somewhat lost. Overall, though, Candy is a short but sweet performance and a heartbreakingly true reflection on love and loss.
Candy is available to watch on-demand via ZooTV.live