In a hard hat and a puffball shirt, Frankie Folkstone, prize-winning young property developer, is not your average walking tour guide.
Frankie Foxstone AKA The Profit: Walking Tour, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh * * * *
And yet, here we are, in our yellow vests, with her on an actual walking tour around Edinburgh's New Town – one that, it transpires, is more of a site visit, through which she wants to encourage us, as potential investors, to support flattening the area and replacing it with luxury flats and offices: The (New) New Town. "Are you with me?" Soon, we're insipidly punching the air and half-shouting "yes" while inner-screaming "no" and feeling all of the pain of a compulsory office team building exercise.
It's a deliciously clever concept from "smashing" (as Frankie might put it) writer and performer Amy Gwilliam, one that simultaneously satirises both corporate culture and capitalist greed, through repurposing the faux aspirational language of estate agents as comedy while getting us to stare directly at what's being destroyed – be this buildings, communities or ways of living – and ask, what is worth saving?
There's a complexity to the way Frankie presents herself as a young woman at the top of her game, successful in an industry dominated by older men but for whom painted on sexuality is just another was to sell things. And yet the interactive nature of the show has an additional purpose – one that, through getting us to carry out ridiculous bonding exercises, invites us to contrast real human connections with Frankie's view that people are only valuable as investment opportunities.
As the many layers of the show come together to create a multi-faceted and thrillingly subversive ending, we find ourselves teetering on the edge of invading a bank, before being left to consider whether we want to be part of the problem of the solution in this new world that's being rapidly built directly in front of our eyes.
Until 24 August