Edinburgh Fringe 2014
Quint, in his one man tirade against his employer, trains a new class in the finer arts of traffic management. Both his past and his present – he is currently being persecuted by a sniper – come back to bite him on more than his derriere.
Quint is our trainer for the day. He has been taken off front line duties whilst Keith works his patch as Quint has been targeted by an air rifle sniper. That said sniper has drawn blood. Quint, throughout our training programme targets the sniper, his ex wife, his former protégé Keith, not getting to University, a traffic warden strike, his line manager – Mr Appleby, his gay son Paul and the world in general. By the end he is suspended due to an allegation of groping and leaves us with his general philosophy on life and loyalty on the front line of parking duty.
This is a solo show that fights back against the corporate nature of our society with a combination of smart monologue and good storytelling. The constant use of the wrong word may have gone unnoticed by the crowd but it added to the forlorn nature of the character. Quint represents the unconstructed who can’t get their heads round the direction the world is taking but is loyal to the team. He presents the corporate world as best he can and as long as it is allowing him to perform his duties the way he wishes it is all good by him.
Robert Cohen gives us an unlikable character that you wish will get the message and get with the 21st Century. It is a forlorn hope as Quint refuses to compromise. It’s an engaging performance that fills the hour with wit and determination.
Unfortunately, as the show had to relocate from the Phones 4 U shop in Princes Street this is not as well attended as it deserves. It does work on many levels and the performance from Cohen gives it its charm and poignant nature.
The set and props are as you would expect and the flipchart gets a good airing. Quint goes through the array of jumpers, vests and costume as he likes to call it that a privatised traffic control officer that gives out tickets to hit targets would need.
I really liked the show as it worked as a performance piece. The character is one that was acutely observed and unhappy with his awful lot once it became clear that he was all alone in the world. The section when he was drunk as well as the one where he led the participants against the strike and nobody followed worked best for me. I reckon I have met many Quints before in my time but this was the first time I was rooting for one of them.