- David Kettle
- 10 August 2018
Young man is ready for radicalisation
Young Samuel struggles with his dead-end job, and he can't even seem to find a girl. As a straight, white male, he feels increasingly sidelined, and even oppressed. He makes a willing recruit for the Abode; a shadowy confederacy battling against the liberals' destruction of true American values. When his level-headed sister Wendy discovers his dark conversion, however, she faces a tough choice: in fighting the fascists, will she become just as bad as they are?
Davey Anderson's seething ensemble drama has all the urgency and fury of a call to arms against the alt-right, and it's given a blisteringly energetic performance by a solid team from California's Pepperdine University. Nate Bartoshuk stands out as the conflicted, easily led Samuel, with Noah Archibald making an oily, seductive leader of the alt-right group.
The show's screamingly high level of intensity is so relentless, however, and its activity so busy, that moments for calm and reflection seem lost. It doesn't tell us much we don't already know: the alt-right is organised and dangerous, but what makes their ideas so seductive? Anderson's strange, internet-less parallel world of walkie-talkies and poster message boards seems a little mystifying, too. While it's not without its flaws, The Abode is an engaging, keenly felt piece of drama.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 16 Aug, 12.30pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).