Angry Alan

Penelope Skinner
Francesca Moody Productions in association with Underbelly
Underbelly, Cowgate

Roger is a normal bloke leading a fairly average life but he doesn’t feel great about himself and can’t quite articulate why.

He’s in a mediocre job after being made redundant from his office, his wife is continuing to need alimony, his son isn’t interested and his girlfriend has just discovered feminism. It’s not a bad life and he’s not a bad man but he’s missing something from it, the world seems against him.

The Internet is a wonderful thing, however, and, after entering a YouTube rabbit hole, he discovers men’s rights activist Angry Alan. Alan discusses how the legal system is rigged against men, how women manipulate male behaviour and how society is now dominated by females.

Everything wrong in his his life makes sense now he’s seen the world from another perspective, one that suits his ego and needs.

What’s fascinating about this play is that all of the YouTube videos are real; the story might be from playwright Penelope Skinner but the narrative is very much a reality. It’s an insight into a completely different way of thinking and from a seemingly reasonable, average man.

Donald Sage Mackay gives a charismatic but understated performance. He’s inherently likeable, even comedic at times, and like all converts is enthusiastic, delighted to have found something that explains his feelings, validates his frustrations.

An hour does not feel sufficient for this play and the ending is far too abrupt, but it is brimming with ideas, scarily real concerns and an undercurrent of anger. It’s eye-opening, insidious, darkly comic and above all plausible.

An exploration of a whole new movement of angry, not so young, men who are determined to have their voices heard.

Reviewer: Amy Yorston

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