Edinburgh Festival: Gabe Day (3 stars)

 

A barely attended student club night to celebrate an apocalypse that never happens captures the kind of anticipation that rarely lives up to the actual event in Rory Platt’s amusing comedy.

The mismatched group of friends working behind-the-scenes on a strategy to “funnel in the straddlers” are a likeable bunch. A wannabe DJ who looks like Timmy Mallet and seems addicted to both drugs and Robinson’s Fruit Squash is a particular highlight.

There are some great, wryly observed moments that capture the culture of a place that sells “Sin and Tonics” for £2, but also some clumsy exchanges exacerbated by performances that can feel overwrought.

The club’s owner, a modern-day Basil Fawlty, gets increasingly stressed, but this can feel at odds with the more understated and truthful writing. Characters mooch in and out like they’re in a TV sitcom and their funny but ultimately small-scale escapades wouldn’t feel out of place in one.

There’s a great monologue likening clubbing culture to battery chicken farming with people so “packed in they can’t fail to cop off with one another”, but for the piece to work as social commentary it feels like a bigger story is needed.

Written for The Scotsman

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