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People Show – The Last Straw

Things would have been a whole lot different without The People Show. As the UK’s oldest live art company, the original absurdist troupe are arguably the epitome of the original idea of the Fringe. Having come together to perform in the basement of London underground hangout Better Books in 1966 with People Show 1, over the next half century, and with alumni including film-maker Mike Figgis and poet and counter-cultural guru, the late Jeff Nuttall, the company have paved the way for a million others created in a similar image. Fusing multi-media Happenings and experimental theatre, the company’s shape-shifting approach has seen them move with the times while retaining an old-school arts lab approach.

While veteran members Mark Long, George Khan and Chahine Yavroyan remain at the company’s artistic core, this latest show – People Show 130 if you’re counting – is a two-hander performed by Gareth Brierley and Fiona Creese that takes on the fake news age. With a man and a woman confined to an undefined space, everyday disaster stares them in the face as they search for the facts beyond the mystifying cloak of jargon.

In an era of information overload where nothing can be trusted, Brierley, Creese and a team of People Show regulars ask how to survive love and loss in a world where communication is becoming increasingly impossible. Co-creators of the show with Brierley and Creese comes from People Show core artists, designers Jessica Worrall and Emma Tompkins, and sound and lighting designers Rob Kennedy and Nigel Edwards. 

Having already been seen at Camden People’s Theatre and on the Brighton Fringe, The Last Straw could just as easily move between end-of-the-pier- and end-of-the-world entertainment, and will almost certainly show off the best of both worlds.

People Show – The Last Straw, Summerhall until August 26, 3-3.55pm

The Herald, August 11th 2018



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