Doing What It Says On The Tin

An emotional yet comedic performance from Tom Dussek on Sunday evening at the charming Rialto Theatre.

I am classing this as a must see for this Brighton Fringe

The show opened with an outburst of swearing – yes, this performance is not advised for the prudish viewer – as Tom burst onto the stage, dressed head to toe in typical builder attire: a grey hoodie, plain tee and steel toe capped boots, having a conversation with ‘an old bat’, for whom he is fixing a sash window for, on his old school ‘brick’ mobile phone. Still with me?

I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed Doing What it Says On The Tin. I wouldn’t class myself as a target audience – I am a 21-year-old graduate with no knowledge on building except from what I’ve heard from my upstairs neighbour. However, I was impressed at how Tom Dussek managed to move me. His character represents a whole class of men with a tough exterior, filthy mouth and blunt sense of reality. Yet underneath lies the definition of unseen fragile masculinity; a breed of man which is seemingly overlooked in a contemporary society of ‘thinkers’, a breed of man that is feeling more insignificant by the day.

Dussek’s performance was sensitive, insightful and funny: a rare glimpse into the stereotyped high-vis prototype often unfairly categorised in 2017. ‘I suppose I’m responsible for UKIP and Brexit and all that, huh?’ Dussek asked the audience. ‘I suppose I’m supposed to hate foreigners for stealing our jobs?’ The audience was still. ‘It’s not the foreigners I have a problem with. It’s the clients who are underpaying workmen because they’d rather pay £50 per day than fork out £170.’

His one-man monologue is a particularly current message from the working-class man to the middle class members of our society: don’t overlook the people building the foundations (in some cases, literally), and therefore I am classing this as a must see for this Brighton Fringe.

Reviews by Bronte Nicoll

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The Blurb

Putting his foot on the bottom of society's ladder so that everyone else can climb up, building what he'll never own, this Hercules in a Transit's side of the fence is muddy, cold and hard. But his life and loves, insights and skills, are as funny as they are sobering. Straight and searing, honest and moving, rude and funny, this one-man tragicomedy written and performed by Tom Dussek is about struggle, wisdom, dignity and swearing. Lots of swearing. "Moving, thoughful and hilarious" (The Argus). "Superb" (Fringe Guru).