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Any Day Now review (Edinburgh Fringe preview)

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This week the full Edinburgh Fringe programme was launched, kickstarting another year of the festival. As the arts community gets ready for another exciting summer, London is abuzz with Fringe previews at various venues across the city. On Thursday evening I started with my first of the season: Martia Dimmer’s ‘Any Day Now’ which has been running at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden for three evenings, ahead of a Fringe run.

Any Day Now leaflet at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden

Written by Dimmer and produced by Alice Park-Davies, the play is a dark comedy about thanatophobia: a fear of dying, with the protagonist aiming to find the meaning of life and death before the age of twenty-three. It is no secret that I am a fan of dark humour plays, notably raving about Abigail Paul’s ‘Involuntary Momslaughter’ at last year’s Fringe. I was intrigued by the themes of Dimmer’s new one-person piece of theatre, covering a subject that is not often faced head on in the arts.


Centring on a twenty-something character called Evie, who initially thinks about dying 14-15 times a day, the play follows the main character’s relationship with the concept of death and how their fears affect their daily life. Frequently spending time at her cousin’s ‘Death Cafe’: a cafe where people with terminal illnesses can frequent and receive peer support, we learn about how these encounters and conversations with customers contribute to Evie’s fears. At the same time we also see the character go on a personal journey, attending therapy and talking to others about her phobia, learning to better communicate with terminally ill people and see life in a whole different light.

Martia Dimmer in 'Any Day Now'
© Martia Dimmer

Portrayal of phobias

The portrayal of fear and panic is incredibly accessible and told through the lens of dark comedy. The dialogue is very quick, showcasing anxiety in an accurate and convincing way, and I firmly believe that every person can relate to the character’s experiences in some form. Even if not specifically about death, we all have things in life that we are scared of and Dimmer captures these very real emotions in her performance as Evie.

Youthful language

There is lots of youthful language in the script which on the whole makes the character seem endearing, but at the same time it risks Evie appearing much younger than her intended age. I struggled to grasp how she was a twenty-something, given that so much of the play takes place when the character is 14 – 15 years of age. In my opinion, there isn’t a clear enough difference between the flashbacks and the present day and this aspect of the narrative could benefit from refinement ahead of Fringe.

Any Day Now set at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden

Set design and lighting changes

For a play that focuses on death, the set design is surprisingly a sunshine yellow. In my opinion it helps to normalise the subject for audiences, instead approaching the topic from a warmer, lighter perspective. The resident cafe cats were also a welcome addition to the set, adding some humour and comedy amongst the darker themes.

The lighting transitions from the bright lights of the cafe scenes to harsh reds during the therapy sessions. It is considerably polarising and quite jarring, generating too much of a tonal shift from one scene to the next. A softer approach to the evolution of the lighting would make the production feel more cohesive.

Any Day Now leaflet outside the Etcetera Theatre, Camden

Live music

It goes without saying that Martia Dimmer has an enchanting singing voice, with Evie taking to her ukulele throughout the performance to vocalise her thoughts and perspectives on losing some of the people that she has recently met. It is a welcome addition to the play, showcasing Dimmer’s talents and also providing a further outlet for the character’s complex emotions.

A topical play with plenty of promise

A refreshing theatrical account of what it means to live in fear of dying, the play has lots of promise, particularly in how it portrays phobias and panic. It is also very amusing, thanks to Dimmer’s comedy skills. I look forward to hearing how it grows and develops ahead of Fringe, as there is lots to like about Martia Dimmer’s new piece of writing. ‘Any Day Now’ is based at Greenside @ George Street – Fern Studio (venue 236) from 2nd – 10th August. Performances start at 17:30 daily, with tickets available via the festival’s website.

Thanks for reading my blog today.

Love Kat xxxx

*My ticket for ‘Any Day Now’ was gifted in exchange for an unbiased review.



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