Edinburgh Festival: Men (3 stars)

This play may be called Men, but the women characters are far more likeable. In an amusing send-up of Frank, who is working on a novel described as “a retelling of Oxbridge after school sessions”, we get an insight into a creative who struggles to create and his uneasy relationship with a former tutor and critic, Syrus. Cheering him on is his proof-reader friend Suze, while his sister snipes from the sidelines.

Miriam Battye’s script makes some wry observations on the creative process, but the female members of the cast are stronger than the men, who struggle to get to the heart of their characters.

It’s a hard subject to dramatise since it mostly involves sitting at a desk, and at times the writing feels in danger of drifting into the narcissism it is criticising elsewhere, but it has interesting things to say about the critic within us all.

Written for The Scotsman 


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