In Tents and Purposes (4 stars)

Impressive and clever play that brings the funny too

In Tents and Purposes

credit: Neil Hanna

This dynamic new piece of writing is the work of talented London actors Roxy Dunn (from Danny Boyle's Babylon) and Alys Metcalf (The Play That Goes Wrong). The play examines what might happen if we could alter those moments from our past that define us.

What might happen, for instance, if Sam and Libby hadn't had their palms read at a music festival in 2010? Many moons later and Sam is an accomplished chef opening her own restaurant, but Libby struggles to get published as a writer. Hilariously letting 'Meta bits' into the play (with a capital M, Dunn points out), the audience get to see behind the characters as the actors pause the show to rewrite the past.

It's a brilliant device to bring to the Fringe, both clever and hilarious. The duo's comedic moments are magnificently sparky as they competitively put each other down in the Meta Moments, then act out their edits. It develops back stories to the characters – and crucially, to the actors behind the characters – so that the jokes fly further. The ending is a little weak, but the combination of intelligence and humour makes In Tents and Purposes an impressive show.

Assembly George Square Studios, until 29 Aug (not 22), £9–£11 (£8–£10).

In Tents and Purposes

  • 4 stars

Viscera Theatre Five-star sell-out comedy from Vaults Festival London and Lyric Hammersmith exploring whether our lives are predetermined or shaped by our choices. A Viscera Theatre production written by Roxy Dunn (Channel 4 / Oran Mor Comedy Drama Award shortlisted), director Chris Head, performers Alys Metcalf (The…


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