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Edinburgh 2022: Review: POSEY MEHTA: I AM NOT A GORILLA at Underbelly Bristo Square

Edinburgh 2022: Review: POSEY MEHTA: I AM NOT A GORILLA at Underbelly Bristo Square

Review of I Am Not a Gorilla at Edinburgh Fringe

Edinburgh 2022: Review: POSEY MEHTA: I AM NOT A GORILLA at Underbelly Bristo Square I Am Not a GEdinburgh 2022: Review: POSEY MEHTA: I AM NOT A GORILLA at Underbelly Bristo Square orilla takes you to visit a woman pretending to be a gorilla, played by the incomparable Posey Mehta.

Posey is preparing to go on a date, dealing with a banana addiction and grappling with the ethical concerns of being an animal confined behind glass for show. You'll pelt her with small bananas and cheer her on as she goes through weird pre-date beauty rituals (as per glossy magazine doctrine). Wax strips make an appearance...

The show is deceptively simple. Its thematic complexity - the trials and tribulations of womanhood and relationships to food, for example - is expertly hidden under layers and layers of silly clowning. It is the most fun that I have ever had at the Fringe. One of the elements that make a 'successful' (yuck) show, for me, is feeling things that I haven't felt before. In a little room at the Underbelly at 10 pm, I felt like the bus that the World's Strongest Man pulls to win the trophy of a big penis (that is what they win, right?). Being pulled into loving a show that you're simultaneously wanting to run away from is Fringe heaven. It's uncomfortable yet riveting, repulsive yet mesmerising.

I recommend taking a friend with you. Mine (shout-out to Helen), heckled Posey which made my jaw hit the floor because she is not particularly fond of audience participation, never mind at a show where you might well be brought on stage to simulate pegging. This speaks to the unique relationship that Posey cultivates with her audience; the show is reliant on people getting involved, and you lose your inhibitions within minutes.

My only critique would be that the relationship between the narrative and the audience heckling could be tighter: there's the feeling that the performance could run away from Posey at any point. Albeit quite thrilling, occasionally this threatens to bridge the fine line between genius and chaos that she treads. However, I Am Not a Gorilla is the performance equivalent of necking a pint of gin. It's fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pubes stuff and it's delightful.

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