Fake News (3 stars)

Fake News

A solid solo performance that is a little behind the times

What's the verdict on Osman Baig's solo performance about modern journalism? The answer will shock you! A hyped media maverick takes to the stage to deliver a speech to a new batch of unpaid interns dying to hear how he skyrocketed to the top.

Baig is brimming with smarm and swagger, bouncing on the heels of his feet like an eager but self-assured salesman. His exaggerated storytelling follows a typical underdog, self-aggrandising narrative of taking a daring risk with a spectacular payoff. He is every inch the Wolf of Wall Street character he aspires to create.

The script has a few funny quirks, but it relies on tired formulas. He describes waiting anxiously for his first headline, hoping for something hard-hitting and fresh. There is an excruciating wait accompanied by a drumroll before the lacklustre headline about a library cat is revealed. The style is perfectly palatable, but the jokes and narrative are painfully predictable.

Unfortunately, the show itself is not fresh or hard-hitting either. It concludes with a warning of the dangers of false information and the accusations of a certain politician, but it's never clear whether we are meant to support his character, or be repulsed by him. In a cruel twist of irony, Fake News is old news.

Assembly George Square, until 26 August, 2.40pm, £9–£11.

Fake News

  • 3 stars

Paragon Theatre Collective 'Indubitably good news… A perfect prospect for Edinburgh 2019' ★★★★ (Mark Lawson, Guardian). 'Hilarious… A cutting media satire which addresses relevant themes with aplomb' ★★★★ (Daily Express). A budding journalist lands a dream internship at the country's biggest online news organisation.

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