Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: The Stolen Inches, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Paul Whitelaw.
A pleasingly cynical morality tale about the perils of craving attention, this claustrophobic domestic drama charts a family implosion.
Overbearing Bernard is a successful TV producer whose favoured son, Seb, has followed in his footsteps. Every inch the swaggering London media cliché, Seb is a metrosexual oaf who decides to honour his father with a fawning documentary profile.
Bringing a camera crew into their home, he wants to portray his family – or more to the point, himself – as a flawless model of success, a plan scuppered hopelessly by his well-meaning yet camera-befuddled mother and Simon, his bitter, diminutive brother, who announces that he’s suing his parents for ignoring him in favour of Seb. Or, as he puts it, for “neglecting my growth”.
If viewed as black farce – and the play is often quite funny – then Sam’s bizarre mode of revenge is just about acceptable. But the “reality show” conceit doesn’t wholly convince: TV producers, no matter how successful, don’t tend to become the subjects of TV documentaries.
But while its observations about manipulative media hypocrisy aren’t original, this is still a mildly subversive and intriguing piece of social satire.
C Nova (Venue 145) Until 26 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 12 August 2015
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