With the pan-generational mix of teenage angst and impending death on stage at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Chris Goode's new verbatim piece taken from conversations initiated by Karl James looks to an even younger generation for guidance.
Goode's own co-production with the Unicorn Theatre then has adult actors suited and booted in grown-up office and dinner-party wear. The juxtaposition between half-formed voices possibly learned from parents by rote and a presentation and delivery that gives the performers the air of politicians or bureaucrats is a fascinating one.
Talk of favourite sweets and playtime is subsequently given the weight by Goode's six performers of life-changing events that they actually do when you're eight years old.
This avoids any Kids Say the Funniest Things-style cutesiness, and is more akin to the very first series of Michael Apted's seminal and ongoing TV documentary, Seven Up.
That crucial social document interviewed a group of seven-year-olds in 1964, and has filmed them every seven years since. While Goode and James's play is unlikely to have that luxury, it is nevertheless a telling insight into a generation which have been given voice for the first time.
More importantly, perhaps, they've been listened to in a way that allows their unstudied wisdom to flourish.
Until August 26.
Just A Gigolo, Assembly George Square
The first rule of life, according to Angelo Ravagli in Stephen Lowe's production of this solo vehicle for actor Maurice Roeves, is to never disappoint a woman.
As the model for "energetic" gamekeeper Mellors in DH Lawrence's taboo-busting novel, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Ravagli was clearly talking from experience.
He, after all, once worked as a gardener to DH and Frieda Lawrence at their home in New Mexico, and went on to become her third and final husband after the novelist's death.
In Lowe and Roeves's portrait of the penniless but still raffish widower Ravagli, as he attempts to flog off nine of Lawrence's paintings, some featuring Frieda in sensual poses, to his hotel-owning chum, Saki Karavas, in New Mexico, he gradually unveils his colourful past as only someone written into literary legend can dine out on.
With the images of Lawrence's paintings projected behind Roeves as he sits at a cafe table relating his yarn as if rehearsing for a late-night chat show, pearls of wisdom such as that above are reeled off like well-polished diamonds.
It's a fascinating if at time somewhat dense elongated anecdote, brought to life by Roeves with a dashingly charismatic sense of mischief that's worthy of an old-time matinee idol.
It's fitting too that Lowe's play is being performed in what is usually one of Edinburgh University's modern lecture theatres.
Before the bulldozers moved in, Traverse co-founder Jim Haynes's original Paperback Bookshop was housed a mere stone's throw away.
One of the few places that sold DH Lawrence's works, it was outside these premises where two disgusted ladies from the Salvation Army were captured on film setting a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover alight, reducing it to the ashes of immorality.
What, one wonders, would they think if they knew that a reincarnated Ravagli had been in the neighbourhood?
Until August 27.
Strong Arm – Underbelly
Explorations of machismo have been all the rage in the Underbelly's Old Vic New Voices strand of new work.
Finlay Robertson's solo play, which he performs in Kate Budgen's production, takes such notions to muscle-bound extremes in the cautionary tale of Roland Poland, a bullied fat kid who starts pumping iron, but gets so obsessed with his own image of being a hunk that he falls for his own reflection.
If Robertson himself doesn't physically cut it as Roland, his examination of the shy little boy who hides behind the chemically enhanced but increasingly tetchy Adonis the world sees is a telling one. Men, it seems, are under just as much pressure body-image-wise, as women.
While Robertson has made an energetic study of the male psyche, the text needs more crafting to give it the weight – no pun intended – required. At the moment, it has plenty of beef, but not enough muscle to pack the punch required.
Until August 26.
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