REVIEW: Adler and Gibb, Summerhall – Edinburgh Festival ✭✭✭✭

Adler and Gibb at the Edinburgh Festival
Cath Whitefield. Photo: Richard Lakes
Adler and Gibb
Summerhall
13 August 2016
4 Stars
Book Now
Writer and director Tim Crouch revives his 2014 Royal Court production to mesmerising effect here. In preparation for the role of a lifetime, an actor goes to extreme lengths to dig up the truth.

Raiding the house of celebrated artist Janet Adler, actor and her cameraman encounter the artist’s surviving lover, Gibb. And that description is the most conventional aspect of this show.

The cast mainly face the audience, a young girl is delivered instructions through headphones, and she hands props to the actors. She also becomes a dog beaten to death and the corpse of Adler.

Adler and Gibb at Edinburgh Festival
Mark Edel-Hunt. Photo: Richard Lakes

A student delivers her paper about the artist and a woman appears to be recording the event at the back of the stage. It will test your patience, especially in the first glacially paced section. Then the play clicked in my brain. It’s an attack on how Hollywood loots the truth for dramatic purposes, a satire on Method acting and the relentless pursuit of Oscar glory. It also brilliantly lampoons the contemporary art world.

Challenging and intellectual, performed by a disciplined ensemble, this is what fringe theatre should be. You will either love it or hate it, but it is so worth seeing. It may not be appropriate to call a play bat shit crazy brilliant- but it is!

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