Peter York makes an unlikely debut at the Fringe with a show titled How to Become a Nicer Type of Person.
The style guru and inventor of the Sloane Ranger has not gone soft in his old age, goodness no. Rather this is a waspish hour-long takedown of the things York doesn't like about modern life, the things that “make the hairs stand up on [his] Harris Tweed” - namely, hipster beards, bare brick walls, “readymade” words like creative, spontaneous and authentic, and tracksuits.
“I've never worn Lycra, nor own trainers. The furthest I go is a little suede plimsoll,” he says, dressed impeccably and incongruously in a pinstripe suit, emerald tie and pocket square. He owns 600 dress shirts, he explains, and in one odd section takes his Edinburgh lunchtime audience, largely dressed in jeans and Gore-Tex, through some of them in a bid to explain “why shirts are important.”
The show has its moments. A takedown of Air BnB (which York pronounces hilariously, Air Buh-nuh-Buh) is sharp but repeated jabs at Shoreditch and hipsters feel passe. It's half an attack on fakery, half a paean to elegant fashion, and those two halves do not quite go together. Tim Fountain directs and York clearly doesn't mind sending himself up, but it's still less a show than a rather stiff lecture. For all its sparkling bons mots, it feels like an idea better suited to the page than the stage.Reuse content