Turning the spotlight on our over-consumption - John McLellan

Geoff SobelleGeoff Sobelle
Geoff Sobelle
I’m just getting into the swing of this year’s festival season, but if you have 80 minutes then the National Theatre of Scotland production Thrown at The Traverse is as good a way to get started as any.

I don’t know how popular backhold wrestling on the Highland Games circuit is among women, but disbelief is suspended with terrific performances from the five-strong cast as they wrestle with their pasts and personalities as well as themselves as they bond into a team.

Even if some of the lines about isolation, exclusion and understanding sail close to preaching – the metaphor of tartan as a cloth of many colours and flaws is a new line in Brigadoon-style kitsch – it’s fast, funny and also very moving, and with themes of confused identities in as confused and uncertain a place as modern Scotland, it’s certainly a story for our times.

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But if you like your points well and truly laboured then look no further than Geoff Sobelle’s Food at The Studio, in which the clown and illusionist turns his spotlight on mankind’s over-consumption in which he appears to over-consume himself for about 20 minutes, gorging on apples, tomatoes and rice, and a neat trick in downing a whole celery in one.

Supposedly “immersive” this is no Adam Riches participation extravaganza, just audience members reading out cue cards, culminating in the large dining table/stage turning into a barren prairie and then into a skyscraper city which eventually devours Sobelle himself. Like he would if he was chocolate.