Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review (Theatre): The Post Show at Assembly George Square studios (Venue 17)], reviewed by Mark Fisher
Hey, look, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a busy place and not all of us have the time to sit through a six-hour epic. So nobody’s going to think less of you if you haven’t made it along to Prodigal Father, the marathon inter-generational movement drama by the Shallow Scream Ensemble Theatre Collective.
Don’t worry about it. A perfectly adequate second best is to turn up at around 9:40pm when you should be just in time to catch the post-show discussion.
There you’ll find actors Brad, Justin and Dave, still visibly sweaty from their on-stage labour, talking through their theatrical process, introducing us to the concept of Eric (an acronym that sometimes stands for “emotion, reaction, inspiration and creation” and sometimes doesn’t) and elucidating some of Prodigal Father’s multi-layered themes.
They tell us about their work with influential director Anne Bogart and reveal some of the personal sacrifices and deep emotional trauma on which their collective enterprise is based. Above all, they want to share the experience with us, the audience, and welcome questions, and feedback. All of it will enrich future performances of Prodigal Father. Apart from certain questions which won’t.
What emerges in this anarchically funny hour, secretly the work of Philadelphia’s Berserker Residents, is an imaginative battle between actors and audience as both parties offer their interpretations of an event that neither has seen. The company hands the creative reins over to us, then spends the rest of the performance trying to grapple them back. Happily, they have the skill to do so with ease.
You could argue there are more worthy satirical targets than the pretentions of the theatre profession, but beyond the in-jokes, The Post Show is a simple celebration of making something out of nothing and its appeal is daft, ephemeral and joyous.
Until 25 August more info
Originally published in The Scotsman