July can be a difficult month for performance in Edinburgh, with most venues, promoters and performers gearing themselves up for the Fringe. Flint & Pitch have been bringing Spoken Word theatre and cabaret shows to capital all year round and tonight they are staging the fourth and final Spoken Word show this season. Francesca Beard is presenting and exclusive version of her show How to Survive a Post-Truth Apocalypse at the Scottish Storytelling Centre and it looks like it might be a good conclusion to a fantastic season.
Before the main act there are two support performances. First up is the excellent local performer Jen McGregor, who presents a gothic comedy piece called Grave. The show seamlessly weaves between prose and poetry and tells the tale of a chance encounter in a graveyard in an Argyll Forest. Jen is an animated storyteller and a great opener for the evening.
Ross McCleary is another local poet and performer and presents his show Portrait of the Artist as a Viable Alternative to Death. He walks onto the stage whilst an inkjet printer in the corner spits out sheets of paper that he collects together to form his script. Ross then walks around the venue reading from the script, whilst an eerie soundscape echoes out over the PA. It is a strange and original performance that will hopefully be developed to be a longer show.
Francesca Beard is asking a big question with How to Survive a Post-Truth Apocalypse. She is looking to discover if humans are liars or not. To uncover this, Francesca seeks helps from the audience by asking a series of probing questions. The audience has the task of raising their hand to determine whether we are liars or truth tellers. The process is simple and effective and sets the tone for an enjoyable and buoyant look at the world we currently live in. The show does not bombard the audience with facts and figures, instead it poses questions and gives the audience time to think and ponder. Francesca presents the show in an engaging method that does not feel neurotic or uptight. She offers a serious topic in an entertaining way and this is due to her talents as a writer and her bright and engaging stage presence.
How to Survive a Post-Truth Apocalypse is an active piece of multimedia spoken word theatre. It combines comedy, poetry, projected power point slides and even a song. Some of these elements go down better than others, but they contribute to a stimulating and thought provoking performance by an appealing and interesting performer.