Theatre review: The Inventor and The Escort

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: The Inventor and The Escort at Gilded Balloon Teviot (venue 14), reviewed by Fiona Shepherd

A former fat guy with confidence issues, who has made his fortune as the inventor of the Cunnilingus Companion and other practically-minded sex aids, hires an escort who looks a bit like Audrey Hepburn to act out a little sex-on-the-beach scenario. He supplies the inflatable palm tree, tiki bar accoutrements and pots of cash; she supplies her body.

But what starts out as a role-playing redemption fantasy with rigid rules becomes a touching encounter in Matt Morillo’s play about truth and fiction, fantasy and reality, wearing masks and stripping bare.

Julia (not her real name) is arguably less exposed in her revealing bikini than when she dons a little black dress and tentatively embarks on a real date with Jeffrey (not his real name either), who needs some help in presenting his fundamentally sweet self to women.

As they strip away the artifice and revert to their proper names, the pair open up about their fantasies – not sexual fantasies, but the dreams they harbour in life. Strong, sympathetic performances from Jessica Moreno and Jaret Sacrey ensure that this emotional shift happens without appearing cheesy.

Until 25 August. Today noon

More info: The Inventor and The Escort is at Gilded Balloon Teviot

Originally published in The Scotsman

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