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Suffering From Scottishness, Assemby Roxy Downstairs – Review

“This is still fun, right?” asks Joseph, the slicked back haired officialdom creation of Kevin P Gilday. And with that sudden question the tone in the packed theatre space suddenly changes from the earlier amusement, to a more serious question about Scotland. It may bring the tone down but then doesn’t all great comedy require such a moment of pathos so we can truly appreciate the laughter. Suffering From Scottishness is Gilday’s look at what it takes to be a citizen of Scotland in a post Brexit world. Joseph works for the newly created government department, Citizen Scotland, and…

Summary

Rating

Excellent

Almost a homage to his beloved Scotland, and most certainly a credit to the natural storytelling skills of Kevin P Gilday.

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“This is still fun, right?” asks Joseph, the slicked back haired officialdom creation of Kevin P Gilday. And with that sudden question the tone in the packed theatre space suddenly changes from the earlier amusement, to a more serious question about Scotland. It may bring the tone down but then doesn’t all great comedy require such a moment of pathos so we can truly appreciate the laughter.

Suffering From Scottishness is Gilday’s look at what it takes to be a citizen of Scotland in a post Brexit world. Joseph works for the newly created government department, Citizen Scotland, and he is tasked with running focus groups to decide what should be included in a citizenship test. And yes, you’ve guessed it, the audience is that focus group, decked out with our voting cards, which in true Scottishness don’t say yes or no, but rather the Scottish dialect of Aye! And Naw!

For much of the show it feels all very irrelevant and tongue in cheek, taking light-hearted swipes at Scottish stereotyping, or even Brexit itself. But all in such a loving way, almost a homage to this country that has invited us to visit for the festival month of August. It’s only as the show reaches its crescendo that Gilday’s main message hits home and causes the audience to pause in its laughter to reflect on what he is saying about his home country. But rest assured, Gilday knows better than to leave his audience on a down, bringing us back up with a song and dance that sums up his thoughts but cannot fail to bring a smile back to our faces.

Throughout Gilday shows why he is a natural performer, the show mixing up his range of talents from character performance to spoken work poetry, confusing the life out of the audience with his request of us to make the sound of slightly perturbed heather (even Google can’t answer that one I’m afraid, I did check).

So back to that opening question, “This is still fun, right?” Aye Kevin we are having so much fun with you that it’s a shame it has to come to an end so soon.

Written and directed by: Kevin P. Gilday
Produced by: HighTide and Assembly
Booking link
: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/suffering-from-scottishness
Playing until: 26 August 2019

About Rob Warren

Someone once described Rob as "the left leaning arm of Everything Theatre" and it's a description he proudly accepted. It is also a description that explains many of his play choices, as he is most likely to be found at plays that try to say something about society. Willing though to give most things a watch, with the exception of anything immersive - he prefers to sit quietly at the back watching than taking part!