EDINBURGH 2019: BWW Review: SCOTTEE: CLASS, Assembly Roxy
In a city where rising accommodation prices and cost of living push both visiting artists and locals out of its festivals, Scottee's Class could not be more pertinent, and that is exactly why it needs to be presented at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Early on, Scottee asks his fellow working-class audience members to identify themselves. There are only about five voices in the sold-out theatre. He asks them to find each other after the show, to ask each other if they are okay. And then he tells them: "This show isn't for you."
There is a small amount of audience interaction in this vein throughout the show, but nothing extreme. Questions asked like "Would you open the door, home alone at 16?" elicit very different answers from those of middle-class and working-class backgrounds.
The main interaction comes before the audience enter the space, asked to vote with a Waitrose-style charity token, on what the working classes need more: love or money. In this performance, 60% say money. It is a hard, practical truth. That Scottee is presenting them as a choice, with no option for both, is another hard truth.
As a performer, Scottee is blistering, raw and emotional. His anger begins measured, and rightly grows throughout the piece. It is not always a comfortable watch; he is against his middle-class audience. There is the question that those who have chosen to attend, to learn, are already trying in a small way to do better, but Scottee would likely argue that it is not enough. This is his last solo show and there is nothing left unsaid.
The staging is simple - a living room scene - but at the end, Scottee pulls back curtains to leave the audience faced with themselves in a mirror. It is the final assault. This is not a show you leave feeling entertained, and that is the point.