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Festival Review: Trying It On ****

Michael Cox reviews a 'production that is far more than it seems'.

Trying It On is a much richer and more theatrical experience than it first appears. It looks like the audience are in for a TED talk, with David Edgar wanting to look at modern politics by examining where things turned and pushed voters to side with Brexit: how could the Culture War of the 60s lead to where we are in 2019? And is there perhaps more going on within this production than it first seems?

Edgar is a very personable speaker/performer, highlighting the political shifts of time through the prism of his life. He has conversations with himself as a young man, uses interview clips from notable figures and gives a brief yet informative look at the major political events of the last 50 years, in Britain and in the world.

And yet, the production is far more than it seems, and for that it needs to be commended. For hidden within this talk is an actual dialogue between the past, the present and the future, and while at first things seem a bit one-sided and smug, rest assured the production is in careful, intelligent hands which don’t allow it to become a wallowing for the past and a yearning for what might have been.

In the end, Trying It On is a very passionate plea, not only for understanding but for progression. And it’s hard not to be caught up in its optimistic final moment.

Performs in repertory at the Traverse until August 25. Check the venue for specific times.

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