This one-man show by Out of Spite Theatre, written and performed by Adam Scott-Rowley, was darkly humorous, unleashing a whole host of bizarre characters often overlooked in real life.
When walking into the Vaults on Thursday evening, being ushered to the front row, I did not expect to be sat directly in front of a naked man. Interestingly, I seem to see a lot of female nudity in theatre and performance, but rarely male, so at the expense of sounding crude, this made a nice change. This initial image is the first way in which Scott-Rowley confronts his audience. There is no movement, instead he is quietly in-yer-face, but as soon as the lights snap on and the performance begins, he is loud, grotesque and commanding of his audience.
Using little set – only a stool and a hanging light – Scott-Rowley manages to portray a hilarious host of characters, from American porn star to old couple, a grieving woman and Classics professor, to eccentric clubber. Rowley creates these characters with the tiniest change in movement such as a hand shaking, or through his use of voice, often pulling grotesque facial expressions whilst speaking, adding to the absurdity of the performance. Switching characters in an instant with such ease whilst keeping the pace and flow of the show running shows the mark of a true performer.
This is Not Culturally Significant is an absurd look at the range of characters we may encounter in our lives, and a piece of performance which is incredibly in-your-face; I don’t think I’ve had a show make me really pay attention in this way for quite a while. And it was excellent.