Hils Barker (2 stars)

This article is from 2008.

Hils Barker

Fanciful but flaccid exhibitionism

Sinister social network sites are under precision attack in Hils Barker’s character exposé Exhibitionist! which links four lonely souls to ‘Profile Me’, an invention more Orwellian than Facebook. Barker attempts to draw parallels between billionaire corporations such as Google and Apple with ever-decreasing civil privacy in the UK. A reference to the terrifying ‘Loopt’ tracking system, which locates your friends on a mobile map so you never have to ‘lunch alone again’ is its most poignant illustration.

The character comedy, however, involves too much stereotypical idiosyncrasies to match the ideals of its politicism. Barker depicts geeky IT technicians and suicidal Emos among others, but there is nothing strikingly original about their personas. Each is rendered with pitch perfect performance, accent and props but fall short of laugh out loud playfulness. Barker is capable of witty one-liners, in particular her sex kitten journalist who works for Pretty Tied Up magazine, but misses out on too many opportunities. Barker’s exhibitionist is fanciful but could have been much more.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 668 1633, until 25 Aug, 4pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50).

Hils Barker

  • 2 stars

Fanciful but flaccid exhibitionism as Barker links the lives of four social networking profiles. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'.

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