Ravenhill's performance is commendably strong. Though he can't do multiple voices, he is at once brusque and smarmy with flashes of insecurity and psychotic aggression. Product's black humour is bold and it targets the repellent jargon of the film industry. This is a teaser as well, leaving you wondering what Ravenhill's precise moral stand is regarding the sex-and-terror fantasy. However, this piece also feels slight and fails to develop the tense on-stage relationship. It would also be more ironic if all this were on celluloid, if Ravenhill could only get a film producer...
Also at the Traverse, the eccentric, bushy-bearded comic-turned-yarnspinner Daniel Kitson offers a lovely kind of late-night Jackanory for world-weary adults. With only a few dips, his Stories For The Wobbly Hearted are winningly wry, sad and comforting tales about lonely cranks, with little flares of elaborate eloquence.
Steer clear of the Pleasance's big-name production, National Hero, with Timothy West playing a bomb-disposal expert who rekindles an extramarital affair. Nichola McAuliffe is on fine form as his bitter wife but West is shaky on his lines and Terry MacKay's play is a bog-standard domestic drama with analogies to terrorist explosions clumsily attached.
Far better, The Exonerated at Assembly @ Queen's Hall: riveting and distressing verbatim accounts of Death Row prisoners' experiences, simply spoken by a seated line of actors. This should transfer to London. Meanwhile, the director Chris Goode's site-specific troupe, Signal To Noise, will perform Homemade in your flat. Forget Big Brother, this is truly intimate fly-on-the-wall viewing as you watch a desperately nervous loner (Lucy Ellinson) trying to cook dinner for a potential new boyfriend (Jamie Wood) while clinging on to the ghost of a loved one (Sébastien Lawson). Funny, sweet, surreal, and painfully tender.
'Product' & 'Stories For The Wobbly Hearted': Traverse, to 28 August; 'National Hero', Pleasance, to 29 August; 'The Exonerated', Assembly, to 27 August; 'Homemade', to 28 August. Fringe box office 0131 226 0000Reuse content