Fringe: One-man Show: Critical Mass

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The Independent Culture
One-man Show Critical Mass

People like nothing better than seeing acts mocked. The funny thing about Critical Mass is that it's another hack doing the mocking. Still, you can't go far wrong with something that makes critics the butt of the jokes - as writers as diverse as Sheridan and Stoppard have proved.

Ian Shuttleworth's survivor's guide to the Edinburgh Festival contains a blinding section translating critic-speak. The word "bizarre", for instance, could mean that the show "quite possibly features a papier mache tortoise" while "award-winning" has lost all meaning.

Shuttleworth, a critic for the Financial Times and a fine raconteur, also reads out (absolutely genuine) newspaper blurbs such as: "Lovers of Latvian avant-garde drama will love this Latvian avant-garde drama."

Shuttleworth inevitably runs the risk of being too "in" with this material and gets his retaliation in first by calling the show self-regarding. But lovers of journalistic send-up will love this journalistic send-up.

At the Pleasance, Venue 33, 12.15pm (0131 556 6550), to Mon