An aspect of the Fringe that is sometimes passed over is the indigenous shows for the local population, which, heaven knows, puts up with enough to deserve something good of its own.This slick little home-grown revue dashes entertainingly through the history of Scotland from the Creation to Devolution, with an Edinbourgeois slant that is both satiric and affectionate.
The opening biblical section is a stonker. Eden was, of course, Edinburgh; Eve is a low-fat freak assured that the apples are healthy, but they are really deep-fried Mars Bars: ‘Oh no, I’m turning into an acne-ridden heifer.’ Cast out of Eden by God (a Connery soundalike, naturally), they’re condemned to a diet of pies and cider and the men are forced to wear silly skirts for all eternity. We canter through the Ice Age, known to Glaswegians as the Great Heat Wave, Vikings, Columba (a hilarious Braveheart parody) Mary, McGonnagal and the filthiest of Burns. The modern section, geared towards the idea that Scotland invented everything, features a devastating demolition of the ‘Choose Fife’ ad, in a virtuoso performance. When we get to the politics, it is made pretty clear the authors want to keep the Union, but it’s lightly done.
The script is well-written, grown-up, and ranges from the sophisticated to the belly laugh. The cast are efficient rather than charismatic, but punch the material out. The script does have its longueurs and could do with better punchlines.
The largely Scottish audience howled with laughter. There were plenty of digs at tourists and the Fringe – nothing like biting the hand that feeds you. As an Outlander, I got about 70% of it, which was enough to raise more than a chuckle.