For Fest: Americana Psychobabble (Edinburgh review)

The progression of this show is not dissimilar to those nights when a friend gets blind drunk, starts a rambling story that never reaches its conclusion, gets very intimate and finally ends up in a corner crying. At a certain point in the performance the audience are forced to share their recent emotions. Today we’ve got: unease, confusion, terror. It is uncertain whether the suggestions refer to this year as a whole or specifically this show.

Manic clown Alexandra Tatarsky presents her audience with an endurance test of tumbling, nonsensical garbling. One word sparks a new thought as she sparsley covers the broad ground of the disaster of American politics, though at no point offering insight or humour on any event or person. This element of performance art could almost be taken as a clever literal staging of America today, if it were not for the fact that she follows this section with a session of laughter yoga.

It is exhaustingly ridiculous in the least entertaining way. Laughter, tears, vomit, scream. A deep-throat ketchup scene pushes it beyond this reviewer’s patience and gag reflex.

There is enough vomit-inducing, tear-staining, shatteringly vile politics going on right now. We don’t need it to be staged too, especially not when it runs over its time slot by 10 minutes. Unease. Confusion. Terror. Mixed in with a good dollop of boredom and frustration, that pretty much sums it up.

Original: Fest


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