Theatre review: Typical, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Ryan Calais Cameron’s new Fringe play is based on the true-life story of Christopher Alder, a decorated ex-paratrooper who died in police custody in Hull in 1998 after being attacked outside a nightclub.

Theatre: Typical, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
Theatre: Typical, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

Typical, Pleasance Courtyard * * * *

It is a potentially devastating study of the everyday racism and hostility suffered by black men in predominantly white communities in Britain; and of how even those with a lifetime’s experience in deflecting those aggressions, and rising above them, can sometimes, tragically, find that all their practised strategies are not enough.

So in the Pleasance Beneath, actor Richard Blackwood gives us a tense, poignant and intensely likeable portrait of a man living apart from his wife and sons, but used to staying cheerful, keeping himself smart, and putting his best foot forward; and of a Friday night out that goes fatally wrong, when a bunch of thugs spot him talking to a white woman at a taxi rank after closing time.

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