The Best Man, Smirnoff Underbelly, Edinburgh

Sinister gift wrecks day for happy couple
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The Independent Culture

He's the best man and he has a wedding present whose explosive effects are destined to shatter the idyllic wedding of Miranda and Addy at the Maple Bay Country Club.

He's the best man and he has a wedding present whose explosive effects are destined to shatter the idyllic wedding of Miranda and Addy at the Maple Bay Country Club.

Glasses are charged and the two-tier-cake is in place as Bailey replies on behalf of the bridesmaids in The Best Man. At first it's genial, more about him and his relationship with his old school pal, now his boss, and the boyhood escapades of "the alpha boys".

But revenge is sweet, and his revelations are ever more engrossing as the past is unwrapped, the future not so much toasted as roasted. Memories of the groom, gathered thanks to "best days of your life dot com", become spikier and seamier, interwoven with Addy's sordid relationship with an unfortunate girl known as "ashtray".

Glyn Maxwell's well-crafted monologue is highly effective in its combination of the superficial banter expected of a best man with an unexpected dark wit. Hidden jealousies, bitter resentment and deep disgust erupt as Bailey throws open a door on the sinister side of the groom's life and character.

Danny Swanson's Bailey is not as uncomplicated as he appears, cheerfully swigging from whatever comes to hand, jollying along the wedding guests. He holds the floor with uninhibited intoxication, gauging the awful consequence of his words on the happy couple and his captive audience.

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