Edinburgh Festival: Gordon (3 stars)

There can be no greater challenge for a single actor than performing in this venue. It’s literally the middle of a pub, through which people stomp in and out to the sound of drinks being poured and the till clunking.

Bearing this in mind, writer and performer Ian Winter does a superb job in his one man show about a disenfranchised pharmaceutical salesman and addict, particularly considering I’m the only person who appears to be listening.

It’s like we’re been transported, performer and critic, locked our familiar relationship – me with notebook, him with lines – to a place that really wants to be getting on with pulling pints and microwaving roast beef.

But what emerges through the babble of background chat is a raw and poetic piece of writing that, while it could do with a more focussed story, captures the pent-up anger and dissatisfaction of a man who works 70 hours a week, his colleagues, associates and mental collapse.

It’s a piece that has a lot of abstract anger – at politicians and society – but one that also captures the details of everyday life in a way that, for anyone who’s paying attention, has some beautifully observed moments.

Written for The Scotsman

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