Unsung

Valentijn Dhaenens
Big in Belgium
Summerhall
to

A large number of Fringe shows this year would probably not have been hatched were it not for the advent of President Trump. Unsung almost certainly falls into this category.

Writer and performer Valentijn Dhaenens opens with a carefully crafted, platitudinous speech that is as frustrating as it is amusing.

We soon discover that his invented character is a politician about to vie for leadership of his party with every chance that this will be a step towards top dog.

For 70 minutes, the audience witnesses snapshots from different aspects of his life, whether it be arguing with spin doctors, charming his infant daughter on Skype or doing something similar to a lover.

The whole takes a little longer than absolutely necessary to build up to a politically-charged climax that should keep visitors on tenterhooks. By that point, nobody could retain any respect for a self-absorbed hypocrite, but the argument must be that this might apply to almost any successful politician around the world today.

Philip Fisher