Hidden @ Underbelly Cowgate
From the very second that Hidden begins, it has the audience laughing. It grabs hold of your attention from the start and refuses to let go, slowly stringing together the narratives of six different characters as their lives occasionally brush by each other – mostly joined by their patronage of Asda or by a certain shared train journey – nd sometimes, though their lives are completely joined, the narrative they have spun shows just how disconnected people can really be.
The humour that runs throughout Hidden doesn't let up, although it does let the darker and more serious undercurrents rise through in a way that manages to perfectly encapsulate human emotion. It is a natural reaction to try to find the humour and the pathos in the day to day, and the things that frighten or worry us. While some issues are more serious than others, they are not treated as trivial moments alongside melodrama. Everything is presented on the same level, just as happens in real life.
Although the play examines six different characters, there are only two actors and the way they work together to create these environments, whilst only appearing on stage together a select number of times, is impressive. They are entirely in sync and it makes for a slick performance where you can entirely accept the same faces as each different character. The use of accents helps, and the subtle changes in set and costume as each scene changes, but ultimately this is all facade and none of it would matter if the performances weren't up to scratch. Hidden is a gem of the Fringe that perfectly combines the serious with the humorous to provide a glimpse into the hidden moments of daily life.