Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Antiwords, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Sally Stott
Drinking beer is stupid, the two female performers in this smart little clown show by Czech company Spitfire effectively demonstrate – by dressing up as sour-faced older men and drinking a lot of beer. Or at least that’s what one of them appears to do. The other simply watches on frustrated, her giant metallic head occasionally staring out pleadingly at the audience, visually the mirror image of her masculine co-star, but determined to avoid inebriation.
A stripped down reimagining of Czech writer Vaclav Havel’s 1975 play Audience, it’s a piece about manly bravado and our attitudes towards alcohol. “Have another beer,” is constantly repeated in the dialogue, translated on screen, “We all drink round here.” When an audience member is offered a pint, it’s telling we all feel a desire to cheer as they down it – something that has come to be accepted as an achievement worthy of such a reaction.
The immediate effects of alcohol – fun for the person drinking, less so for anyone who isn’t – lead to a playful comedy that, however hammered one of the characters gets, remains slick and polished until, by the end, there’s beer all over the stage and a crate full of empty bottles.
Summerhall (Venue 26), until 30 August, 8:25pm / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 15 August 2015
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