Going Viral (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

Going Viral

Daniel Bye turns his TED-talk style of performance to contagious diseases

After shows like The Price of Everything (a rumination on kindness) and How to Occupy an Oil Rig (which looked at protesting against fossil fuels), Daniel Bye's become well-known to Fringe theatre-goers for his informative, TED-talk influence performance style.

This new show isn't about the internet, as its name might lead you to think. Instead, it's about biological viruses – specifically, epidemics and how contagious they are. The news might have forgotten about Ebola, but Bye clearly hasn't. The story he tells here is a fictional one (though it often sounds all too real), alternating perspectives between the 'super-spreader' of a virus that causes people to weep uncontrollably, a doctor trying to contain the outbreak and a version of himself, giving us a short masterclass on the science of epidemics.

Bye's rigorous research and effortlessly engaging performance style lend Going Viral a winning charm – in the way that a play about a deadly infectious disease can ever be charming. The way he talks about what he's learned may be a tad heavy handed but he has a light touch when it comes to getting the audience involved, and is all the more endearing for it. And although it's just the right balance of entertaining and terrifying, it feels like it needs a little injection in pace to make it truly unforgettable.

Northern Stage at Summerhall, 560 1581, until 30 Aug (not 12, 19, 26), 2.10pm, £12 (£10).

Going Viral

  • 3 stars

Written and performed by Daniel Bye, this blend of comedy, storytelling and performance lecture sees a new virus sweep the globe, with some people seemingly immune - but why? Directed by Dick Bonham it is an insightful, surprisingly light and thought-provoking piece of contemporary theatre.