This Is Not Culturally Significant

This is Not Culturally Significant is an incredibly rare thing indeed. It’s a show that has so incredibly fried my critic-brain that star ratings don’t seem fit for purpose anymore, This is Not Culturally Significant somehow manages to reject and transcend them.

Necessary viewing but not for the faint-hearted.

The other question is just what on Earth it’s actually about. It’s a hypnotic performance, properly the kind you can’t stop watching but I’d be a liar if I pretended to know what any of it means, although part of me feels that may be the point. Duh, it’s called This is Not Culturally Significant, any attempt to review, critique or quantify it is doomed from the get go.

Adam Scott-Rowley is everything, a force of nature, electric, impossible to look away from and he also seems to play everyone, or rather, grotesque, bouffon style characters from every strata of society. It’s, at turns, hilarious and repulsive, showcasing some of humanity’s very darkest sides and exploring territory that most artists wouldn’t dare touch with a barge pole. Summoning up a kaleidoscope of different characters, from a failing porn actress to a lecturer on spiritualism to a homophobic man and his wife, watching Scott-Rowley shift between them at lighting speed feels like witnessing the exorcism of a schizophrenic spirit.

Some have noted the fact that Scott-Rowley is completely naked for the entire hour-long show but this actually seems like a logical choice and is surprisingly unremarkable. Covering up his flapping genitalia with a pair of boxers ‘would have broken his line’ as the lady next to me said and ruined the audience’s suspension of disbelief. There’s definitely some truth to this as the nudity makes him a blank canvas and perfectly able to play anyone and everyone.

As well as being culturally insignificant, it’s also intense, terrifying, genius and the kind of show that could only exist at the Fringe. Necessary viewing but not for the faint-hearted. 

Reviews by Liam Rees

Pleasance Courtyard

UNCONDITIONAL

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Signals

★★★
Summerhall

Everything Not Saved

★★★
CanadaHub @ King's Hall in association with Summerhall

Daughter

★★★
Pleasance Dome

Lights Over Tesco Car Park

★★★★
CanadaHub @ King's Hall in association with Summerhall

Chase Scenes

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

A brutally intense, darkly comic one-man show that unveils the compulsive and eccentric nature of humanity. This thunderous, high-energy piece of theatre is performed entirely nude and combines dark clowning and deeply grotesque bouffon to create sharp political comment on contemporary society. This is a show for thrill-seekers. It is uncomfortable to watch and mesmeric, leaving audiences’ emotions balancing on a knife edge. From a mendacious Spiritualist Lecturer to a despondent American porn star on the brink of her retirement, over 10 characters take the audience on a journey from emotional despair to helpless laughter.