Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Clint is a media icon and darling now disgraced for his rigging of both his reality television shows and of his personal life. With one last chance to turn this all around, Clint stoops very very low indeed to conquer.
Its a new play which is heading in the right direction to becoming a staple of contemporary British farce in the classic Brian Rix tradition.
Clint’s Reality is a clever play which explores the heartlands of much current British television fare. Clint is a successful creator and presenter of reality tv shows. His star has risen very high in the television firmament, but is about to come crashing down.
Exposed for rigging the outcomes of his reality tv shows, Clint lies at the apparent mercy of the media which was so important to creating him in the first place. His obvious manipulation skills seem to have deserted him as he finds himself about to be humiliated as a professional and personal cheat.
So nothing new in that then. But where Clint’s Reality takes off is when 15 minutes into the piece, it stops taking itself quite so seriously and instead develops into full-blown farce in the classic British theatre traditions.
Then it becomes very clever and very engaging indeed. The cast woke up and played the farce for all it was worth, and the audience responded. While some performances are stronger than others, the play brought much laughter from the audience, as the characters behaved in the time-worn farce traditions: a body in the bathroom, ketamine in the sandwiches (well, it is 2010), endless rushing cross and in and out of the set, lots of slamming doors, near misses, breathless covering up.
All good knock about stuff when it gets going. But it is too long in the making. Thus the three stars. The first part of the show needs to be rewritten into the farce traditions (some of the characterisation needs to be stronger, Clint needs to be smarmier).
Then the message of this piece will shine through: its not just that reality is corrupted, it is that such corruption is the very essence of TV reality shows. A first-class farce in the making, but not there yet