Theatre review: Surveillance, theSpace on North Bridge, Edinburgh

The Edinburgh-based Anomaly Theatre Company are clearly an amateur group, and the rawness of some of their performances and execution must be taken into account when appraising their work.

Surveillance, theSpace on North Bridge (Venue 36)

Surveillance, theSpace on North Bridge, Edinburgh * * *

Yet this is one of those rare situations where the rough-and-readiness of a DIY Fringe production whose homemade feeling is apparent doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the tales they’re telling. The ensemble have clear points to make about the pervasiveness of contemporary surveillance culture, a sharp satirical eye for what’s patently contradictory or counter-intuitive about the ways these systems work, and enough nous as performers to bring these tales to the stage.

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There are three discrete short scenarios here. In one, jobsworth employees of an all-seeing government agency which monitors the public through their internet usage and security cameras are forced to ignore a murder, because they’ve snooped upon a man who cut one of them off in traffic without proper authorisation; in the next, a logic-defying and smilingly Orwellesque embodiment of a social media terms and conditions manual is brought to relentless life; and in the final piece, two university professors with differing views on data privacy initiate a dystopian civil war on campus. Only the finally story outstays its welcome slightly, otherwise these pieces are brisk and on-the-money.

Until 24 August