Review: Capturing the madness of reality TV on stage

We are all too familiar with the evils of reality television that insist in lingering over all our lives. “Celebrities” desperately clinging to the limelight and undesirables plucked from who-knows-where seeking their 15 minutes of fame has become all too regular evening viewing.

The trend for crash-and-burn television has inspired a darkly humorous new play  written and directed by ex-Goldsmiths student Phillip Carter Lindsey and performed by a group of present and former Goldsmiths students, which heads for the Edinburgh Fringe next month.

Called ‘Winfamy’, it is described as: “A brief journey into the warped corners of humanity via the framework of a twisted television documentary.”

The play features eleven well-formed and utterly outrageous characters. The actors captured the madness of each figure with a balance of accurate physiological observance and grotesque hilarity.

A series of sketches parody some of the probing and morally questionable documentaries that reach our screens on a daily basis.

The simple staging mimicked interview scenarios with these tragic characters, my favorite being Neil the Brummy simpleton who admitted that his loneliness led him to “doing it with birds.”

Alongside this the audience cringed and giggled their way through the disconcerting performance that included stars such as Geoff and Marian the couple willing to sell their daughter’s organs to get rich quick and a wonderfully acted sketch in which a charming but mentally unhinged man is exploited by a friend thriving from his puppeteer-like control.

I found myself drawn into the dark crevices of the warped mind’s of these characters. The passion and energy of the actors drove through the performance of this hugely relevant and insightful black comedy, to make it a very enjoyable experience.

This small collective of young actors allow us to sit back and observe the world that many of guiltily slip into in the comfort of our own homes.

The audience packed out The Macbeth in Hoxton for the London preview and I have no doubt they will be drawing in crowds in August in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh City Football Club, 7 Baxter’s Place. Leith Walk.
EH1 3AF.

Dates: August 16-20 and 22- 26

Time: 19:15 – 20:15

Price: FREE

Further details here

By Louisa Plumstead

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