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)

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.

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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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