Mighty review at the Pleasance, Edinburgh – ‘engaging exploration of heightism’
It’s never unimportant to have unconscious bias made conscious. In this solo piece, Jack Britton – 5ft 4 3/4in – takes us through his personal history of being shorter than average.
All the jibes from friends and colleagues, the accusations of ‘small man syndrome’, the school bullying, and the horrid height minimums people put on their Tinder profiles: it’s all packed in here, wrapped in beatbox and live looping, spoken word and comedy.
Britton fills the piece with eye-opening statistics: taller men are paid more, achieve more senior positions, there might even be a link between lower than average height and increased rates of suicide.
He also shows us a raft of tweets proclaiming “death to all short men” – tweets which, apparently, don’t break social media rules.
Britton’s a friendly presence. It always feels like he’s just chatting to us rather than performing, and he’s got a beautiful singing voice.
The form doesn’t settle, though, and that dilutes the show’s point. The spoken word sections in particular feel contrived and don’t work as well as the other elements of the show. Plus, Britton isn’t always entirely in control of his material or his loop pedal.
But the show as a whole still achieves exactly what it set out to. “Food for thought, isn’t it,” as Britton says.
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