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Nastazja Domaradzka

Review: THIS IS NOT CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT at The Vault Festival

This Is Not Culturally Significant After you spend a lot of time in the theatre, be it watching or making it, sooner or later you begin to yearn for a surprise. You want to see work that will stop your breath, stay with you for a long while and make you question the status-quo in a creative and non patronising way. After missing THIS IS NOT CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT last summer at Edinburgh Fringe I finally managed to see the piece at this year's The Vault Festival, and I can't express how mind blown I was by Adam Scott- Rowley's absurdist and hypnotising one man show.

Lasting just under an hour THIS IS NOT CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT is an absolute tour de force. In very short and extreme snippets Scott-Rowley portrays twelve varied characters, who are all affected by their own demons, make for disturbing and an eye opening study of the modern Western society. There is cam girl, playfully stroking herself, a deeply unhinged university professor and a Brexit voter wanting the immigrants to leave. Throughout the piece the narrative explores the connections between the characters and their effect on each other's lives.

What is so unique about Scott-Rowley's take on the piece is that he is never force-feeding the audience his ideas and the rhythm of the piece never allows for any moments of indulgence. Naked throughout the full length of the production Scott-Rowley is simply a vessel full of stories, and once the audience gets over their British demure attitude towards the naked human body, the giggles stop and the powerful and uncomfortable truth begins to creep upon us. THIS IS NOT CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT is not just a surreal and hilarious piece; this is political theatre at its best.

Lately it has become quite apparent to me that in general what the independent theatre scene is lacking is boldness and a visionary approach towards creating new work. Adam Scott-Rowley is not only an outstanding and breathtaking performer but he is foremost a pioneering theatre maker that strives to push boundaries and challenge his audiences. What makes THIS IS NOT CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT an outstanding and rare work is the fact that its creator has never become complacent in his craft. “Did you come hear to listen to the sound of your own voice?”he asks , as one of the characters. Yes, we did. The joke and the shame is on us.