Theatre review: Ouroboros, Underbelly Cowgate

editorial image
Share this article
Have your say

Charlotte Fox plays a struggling actor in this one-woman show. After being told that her face is too fat to play Cinderella, she takes advantage of her agent’s discount at the International Wellbeing Convention and plunges head- first down the rabbit hole into the world of hyper-fitness, food obsession and “personal transformation”.

Ouroboros, Underbelly Cowgate (Venue 61) ***

Fox’s energy is indomitable, and she attacks her theme with a diverse range of polished theatrical tactics including dance, physical theatre and comedy. And the world of wellness is ripe for satire, from the “food recovery” expert, swigging secretly from her fruitshake mixed with vodka, to the sex-obsessed fitness instructor and the yoga teacher with his vegan dog.

• READ MORE: Edinburgh Festival 2018: 13 of the hottest shows to see so far

But there is something darker at the heart of all this which sits less easily with the comedy: the effects on those drawn into this world, embracing each new fad, recording each achievement with a new profile picture for Instagram, waiting obsessively for their followers’ approval. These are the people for whom diet pills and promises turn to binge-eating and bulimia. And having shown us all of this, Fox seems reluctant to offer a clear conclusion, or indeed create one for her character.

• Until 14 August, 1:10pm