Growth review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘fast and funny’

Andy Rush in Growth, Summerhall Andy Rush in Growth, Summerhall Roundabout. Photo: Matt Humphrey

As unlikely as it sounds, Luke Norris’s comedy about testicular cancer is genuinely hilarious from start to finish. The story of lost, mopey Tobes who loses his girlfriend and his left testicle in the space of a couple of weeks is consistently witty, packed with vivid characters and hook-filled dialogue.

Remy Beasley and Richard Corgan are both superb in a range of roles, from a prickly garden centre proprietor to giggling couple in a one-night stand. The brilliance of director George Perrin’s production is that each character has definition and personality; there are no caricatures here. Beasley and Corgan are in many ways always the same, a thread of personality runs through each of their dozen or so roles. It shouldn’t work. It works perfectly.

Andy Rush has a tough job making Norris’s unappealing central character attractive enough to care about, and for the most part he succeeds, but the character flaws and personal ineptitude required in Tobes to make his journey to acceptance and adulthood function mean he’s often a grating presence.

Still, this is an extremely funny and poignant work, another reason to keep a close eye on the ascending Norris’s distinctive and sensitive work.

Fast, funny comedy drama that makes light work of testicular cancer, despite its dreadful protagonist