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Edinburgh Fringe 2022

Self Service

Anne Rabbitt

Genre: Comedy, Solo Play, Theatre

Venue: theSpace @ Surgeons Hall


Low Down

Breaking down? Lost the manual? Book in for this funny (meta)physical dive into how to keep going. Based on a complete strip-down and rebuild of the 1962 Rabbitt model. This 21,000-day service includes a troubleshooting guide and FAQs fielded by experts such as philosophers, physicists, poets and the manufacturers: Mum and Dad. Learn to laugh at built-in obsolescence and override factory settings. Lost your feeler gauge? Find it here. Warning: may contain candour.


A very large blue tool box sits onstage. Then Anne Rabbitt arrives wearing a blue coverall – but this is not a place to do a service or MOT on a car but it is a place to do a service on one’s own life, so far! Therefore, Rabbitt first makes a phone call to book a service on the Classic Anne Rabbitt 1962 Model, Human Being.

This unusual and fascinating idea is created by writer and performer Anne Rabbitt, with consultant director Doon Mackichan in a new solo play, exploring this concept through narrative and physical storytelling, witty wordplay and subtle humour. It’s rather like taking stock of one’s life…where we are…where we’re at in the general scheme of things. It’s a time for us to question ourselves: is this what we want to be doing at this stage of our lives (at any age) or is there anything else we want to achieve?

For example, what happens when one changes priorities or if one is an empty nester and there is suddenly time to do other things, a new career, hobby – or even to continue what one was doing before the family came on to the scene?

Rabbitt’s story is based on parts of her own life, and she has spent time thinking about such things as a creative writer and why a Self Service every now and then can be beneficial to us all. From the programme notes, she also has many interests from science, to poetry, literature and psychoanalysis that helped shape this show.

An owner’s manual is what we each need and Rabbitt manages to find the one applicable to her and she begins the process, step by step. From this we not only learn a lot about Rabbitt but we also learn a bit about ourselves through similar relatable experiences or through being gently prompted – to think about our own life trajectory.

Speaking directly to the audience, Rabbitt tells her story with sincerity and good timing – she changes into several characters swiftly by adding a hat, spectacles and differentiating her physicality. Remembering advice from her childhood she is keen to describe how these things affect her viewpoint on life. Using snappy dialogue she has realistic short conversations with her children. She also invents role plays to do about her life, plays very short bits on the accordion and seeks more from life.

Rabbitt has worked in comedy as part of Rabbitt & Doon performing alongside Jo Brand, Jenny Eclair, Jeremy Hardy, Paul Merton, Eddie Izzard and others.

Anne Rabbitt’s Self Service is well developed and crafted. Her mild-mannered delivery is refreshing and she uses a variety of vocal and physical elements in her storytelling. There is quality in this original idea and performance, go and experience it!