Writer: Alan Harris
Director: Catherine Paskell
Reviewer: Clare Howdon
Dirty Protests’ acclaimed one-man play Sugar Baby returns to the Edinburgh Fringe this year following a very successful run at last year’s festival. The play centres on Marc, a small-time drug dealer in Cardiff and his dalliances with him mum, dad, childhood sweetheart Lisa and local loan shark Oggy.
Written by Alan Harris, the absurdist dialogue in Sugar Baby is sharp and funny whilst also retaining just the right amount of socio-political commentary to make its audience think amidst the laughs. Catherine Paskell’s direction ensures that the piece remains fast-paced and engaging throughout, but it is Adam Redmore’s performance as anti-hero Marc that really stands out in this production. Redmore successfully juxtaposes the eccentric bravado of marc with a subtler inner intelligence which makes the protagonist’s grim existence all the more tragic. Redmore is a natural storyteller and infectiously entertaining, who is more than able to hold court in Summerhall’s intimate Roundabout space and the mesmerised audience were clearly clinging to his every word. Redmore is also a highly effective physical performer and is admirably adept at the mimed moments of the performance, which add further detail to Marc’s stories.
As with all solo shows, Harris’s script needs a strong performer to bring his dialogue to life and Redmore certainly doesn’t disappoint. He strikes the right balance between exaggerated physicality, superb comic timing and a delicacy and vulnerability which allows the subtler comments on our societal issues of deprivation and poverty to be evoked.
Sugar Baby is an entertaining and at times thought provoking hour of theatre. It is an effective coming-of-age tale which is funny and poignant in equal measure.
Runs until 19 August 2018 | Image: Contributed