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Edinburgh Fringe 2016

Cosmic Fear or the Day Brad Pitt Got Paranoia

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Genre: Absurd Theatre, Devised, New Writing, Theatre

Venue: Bedlam Theatre


Low Down

Three characters in a room begin to take us on an examination of the possibility of environmental disaster with everyman Brad who goes from his Hollywood heartthrob image to being an everyman in places he may never have heard of nor visited. This is challenging theatre which is heightened in terms of an issue that clearly affects us all but worries more greatly our performers.


Three characters inhabit a stage. They start to tell the story of how Brad Pitt should feel about the environment him and his kin are destroying. When we move into the dress up box this starts to really motor and off we go on a flight of fantasy with plenty within it that really makes decent political points. There is an episodic structure which is very difficult to describe apart form it being everything from Brad being a bunny in the forest to grandpa Brad; everything in between makes sense somewhere.

As a piece of theatre this left me slightly confused but as a piece of eclectic and challenging art it kinda worked. I don’t mind being shouted at now and again or going off on flights of fancy that leave reason and reasonableness behind but making a political point with something so whacky and out there can leave the people you want convinced, alone, dazed and confused.

The use of manic performance, the microphones to talk directly, the irony of mobile phone footage onscreen and onstage as well as the relationships between the three actors is what keeps you hanging on in there. I am unsure if the script has any merit for a second production but it did make me question my own response to the likes of Kyoto, Rio and Paris – so it must work somewhere somehow.

As a theatrical “event” though there is general merit in this and the fact that I can, after having seen it, question my own environmental response gives credence to the idea that it is effective. I think though a better structure would have allowed the analysis to have a longer and deeper resonance.


Show Website

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