Review of THE UNBEARABLE SH*TENESS OF BEING
at Edinburgh Fringe
Whatsonstage rating: 2 stars
Whilst deserving some sort of award for the most imaginative Fringe title, the show doesn’t live up to expectations. Whilst it isn’t “quite” unbearable and it isn’t “quite” shite, it came close enough for some punters to leave part-way through which is pretty condemnatory for a 35-minute piece.
Performed almost entirely by one lightly perspiring man in a boiler suit with interactive video, poetry reading, and dialogue rich in non-sequiturs – at one point he says, "if I were to explain this for 47 squllion years, you wouldn’t understand it" – and most of the audience nodded assent.
Despite the opacity of the concept, there are songs, poems and a determined rap about President Mitterrand, but your engagement is not helped by Roberts’ awkward microphone technique or the fact he reads eyes-down from the script, although I did like the ironic reworking of the Grimm's fairy tale as The Elves and the Psychotherapist.
Because of the disjunct of mashed ideas, you may come out of it with a smile raised or a memory jogged, but that feels like a too random result.
This review written for Whatsonstage.com
Thanks to everyone who joined Erin Kelly, Melanie McGrath and me at Mansfield Central Library on Saturday 25 February. We had a panel discussion and Q&A, ...