Theatre review: Angry
Theatre review: Angry

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Angry, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★ The Pub Corner Poets – part live band, part poetry collective and part sweaty, swearing cabaret act – courted controversy at this year’s National Student Drama Festival with Angry, and it’s easy to see why. An all-white cast dropping racial slurs, casual …

2
Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Angry, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett.

★★

The Pub Corner Poets – part live band, part poetry collective and part sweaty, swearing cabaret act – courted controversy at this year’s National Student Drama Festival with Angry, and it’s easy to see why.

An all-white cast dropping racial slurs, casual homophobia and lazy sexism feels pretty indefensible, even if it is supposedly in the name of a jaded generation’s misdirected anger about the political climate that spawned it.

The form of this abrasive, interactive play by Josh Overton is commendably bold – a self-aware rock concert intercut with tales of intoxicated sex and violence – but in its tedious efforts to shock, it ends up uncomfortably reinforcing the power structures it sets out to critique, at one point comparing a woman in the audience to a porn star. The inter-cast banter feels awkwardly staged, and the rawness and unpredictability the company are after safely pre-planned.

There is something tub-thumpingly joyous about the show’s final song, Why is Everyone I Hate Still Alive?, which wishes painful deaths on George Osborne and Nigel Farage among others, but it’s a rare moment in which the show’s anger finds political coherence and humour that doesn’t punch down, amidst all its try-hard faux edginess.

Sweet Grassmarket (Venue 18) until 23 August / listings

Published in The Scotsman on 20 August 2015

Edinburgh Festivals 2015: complete coverage

• Get everything on our Festivals homepage – on desktop, mobile or tablet
• Looking for reviews? Check out the latest Scotsman reviews – or browse all the reviews ranked by star rating
• Don’t miss a thing: sign up to our daily email newsletter
• Watch all the latest videos from the #WOWwagon
• Get distracted by our Festival Blog
• Check out today’s half-price ticket deals
• Follow our social accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and join the conversation with #WOWfest