Avoidable Climbing (3 stars)

Revolutionary zeal in pithy cabaret show

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Avoidable Climbing

Theatre maker and writer Drew Taylor's new show for Take Me Somewhere is a plea for tolerance and kindness in the 'fake news' era of oligarchs, capitalism, a certain orange US bigot and his enthusiastic hairstyle.

Whether addressing matters in Pyongyang, the Weimar Republic, America or Russia, the two energetic actors (Isobel McArthur and David Rankine) play out scenarios of comfortable white privilege and fuse Brechtian satire with real-life vox-pop testimonies from Brexit voters and sceptics alike. It's an even-handed show scrutinising problems on the left and right.

The junk shop aesthetic of the design and the duo's easy chemistry creates a cosy atmosphere, as they dismantle big business. It's a powerful call to activism delivered with a velvet glove. Whatever way your political beliefs lie, both the writing and performance is hugely engaging.

The means of distraction through social media is nicely judged, although the songs don't always work, but it's a small quibble in a show which asks wider questions of apathy and protest, like how much resistance is enough and how much difference can one person ultimately make.

Bittersweet, intelligent agit-prop with real heart, which should provoke much in the way of conversation.

Somewhere New/Avoidable Climbing

A poetic political black comedy, written and directed by Drew Taylor, about what we could do, what we should do and how burying your face in the latest cat video isn’t enough right now. Part of Take Me Somewhere

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