21 Things You Should Know About Toronto's Crack-Smoking Mayor (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

*421 Things You Should Know About Toronto’s Crack-smoking Mayor

Rob Ford-themed political theatre at 2014 Edinburgh Fringe that credits audience with intelligence

Canadian politician Rob Ford had a non-existent profile on the world stage until May last year, when clickbait news website Gawker published evidence of him smoking crack cocaine. When Ford’s eventual admission only made things worse (‘Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine … probably in one of my drunken stupors’), his long list of past indiscretions - including verbally assaulting fellow politicians and making racist, sexist and homophobic remarks - was also brought into the open.

Rose Johnson plays Kerry Morningside, a Canadian ex-pat and political consultant who aims to exonerate Ford. Or, as it turns out, help dig his grave - it depends who’s asking. A sneaky satire on spin and the amorality of lobbyists, Jason Hall’s script also succinctly highlights the dangers of letting cartoon character politicians have access to real power (Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage are specifically namechecked). While Rose Johnson is occasionally guilty of milking a scene or a gesture a little too much - and while the music cues are needlessly excruciating - it’s always good to experience political theatre that credits the audience with enough intelligence to make their own decisions.

Sweet Grassmarket, 243 3596, until 24 Aug, 7.50pm, £8.50 (£7.50).

21 Things You Should Know About Toronto's Crack-Smoking Mayor

  • 3 stars

DeCo. Productions He’s admitted to smoking crack. He’s been drunk in public. He’s the mayor of Toronto and his supporters adore him. But when one woman’s passionate defence of the world’s most scandalous politician goes horribly (and hilariously) wrong, will her faith waver? Toronto Fringe Festival favourites DeCo.