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If I Were Me

If I Were Me at Edinburgh Festival Fringe If I Were Me at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Phillip Sandford is invisible. He speaks but no one hears him; he hovers in the background waiting to be seen, clutching a pot plant. This intermittently amusing and inventive new show from Antler, the young company who made the whimsical, charming Where The White Stops, explores confidence and what it is to have it – and not have it.

Nasi Voutsas plays Philip; he has a great face, gently expressive, emanating awkwardness. Gradually Philip grows surer of himself, and this too plays out on his face. You sense his pleasure as he picks up the microphone and moves into the spotlight. But If I Were Me – an early iteration of which won the Pulse Suitcase Prize – seems to suggest that this comes with a price, that he will lose his sense of himself, become part of the pack, another bland man in a suit.

There are some strong images here: the whole set is covered in drab office carpet and, as with Where The White Stops, the piece has a clear visual identity. Daniel Foxsmith is marvellous as Philip’s boss, hurling motivational bullshit around the room like confetti. But often the details are more potent than the piece as a whole and the surreal tone, after a while, starts to feel distancing.

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Verdict
Inventive, amusing, faintly surreal piece by a smart young company
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