Towers by John Scott

Tonight I was watching Towers, by John Scott. This is a one man solo theatre performance featuring John playing multiple characters, readings and images. Although this is part of his Masters course there is a hugely important message and a cry for change that should be heard more widely.

The key point you will take from this is just how blatantly the system is rigged against those not a member of the elite. Whilst some eat off of gold dinner services, others die because no one could be interested enough in their life chances to decide to spend money to alleviate obvious hazards. Then when the have nots try to improve their lot, they are oppressed by laws designed to maintain the status quo in favour of those who already have more than enough to go around.

It’s incredibly hard not to watch this without being outraged at the perpetuation of this injustice. At other times it is hard not to get upset, especially when hearing the texts sent from Grenfell and of John’s cousin. It certainly makes you want to use your vote as a weapon. Thoughtfully a few excerpts of stand up (filmed at The Stand, Newcastle) that compliment the show have been included to help balance the raw emotions.

Performance wise there is a heck of a lot to admire in this. I’ve long respected John Scott as a talented comedian and good egg, but seeing him do this show really does demonstrate his increased range and ability. His skill in acting was a wonderful surprise and he did each character very well, even if it is odd hearing him do a Cockney accent. He’s also disturbingly convincing as a right wing politician, picking and choosing which Christian values and other phrases he knows will play well without actually committing him to anything. The juxtaposition between this scoundrel and someone at the sharp end who has to cope with the fall out of deliberate societal neglect is very powerful.

This was a free show, but it’s one certainly worth paying to see.

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