Theatre review: Atomkraft
Theatre review: Atomkraft

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Atomkraft, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock. ★★★ We’re introduced to Roddy Magnox, billionaire Australian playboy, who imagines building a giant obsidian pyramid named The Icon in the heart of Edinburgh’s new town, powered by nuclear energy and representing the application of “private enterprise for the public good”. Wearing a …

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Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Atomkraft, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock.

★★★

We’re introduced to Roddy Magnox, billionaire Australian playboy, who imagines building a giant obsidian pyramid named The Icon in the heart of Edinburgh’s new town, powered by nuclear energy and representing the application of “private enterprise for the public good”.

Wearing a black pyramid hat, the uniform of The Icon’s staff and of the electronic musicians creating a sparse soundtrack at the side of the stage, Greg McLaren is The Icon’s official artist, and what often appears to be no more than a paid fool, a sticking plaster to legitimise Magnox’s own whimsical and ego-stroking ideas of what might constitute art.

The audience is invited to ask questions and to join in with the nuclear countdown at the end.

Interesting but abstract is perhaps the best summation of this new work by McLaren and his Kompanie.

It’s recommended not to go in expecting too much in the way of exposition of the nuclear power industry or our relationship with the atom, but by riffing on these themes McLaren has created a work which is quirky and amusing, enhanced by some versatile performances which explore a kind of nostalgic pathos for the uncertain modernity of the nuclear age coupled with a satirical exploration of patronage in the arts.

Summerhall (Venue 26) until 28 August / listings

Published in The Scotsman on 28 August 2015

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