‘Right guys, if this is going to work, you’re going to have to stop acting like middle class knobheads’
There’s a sheepish half-cheer when Scottee tells the middle class people in the audience to make some noise. No one wants to whoop and holler about how privileged they are. There’s also hesitation when he asks the same of the working class audience members.
We really do have a broom up our collective arsehole about class in this country.
Scottee is a charismatic, accomplished performer who constantly treads the line of critique and audience care. He mercilessly ribs the mass of (mainly) white (mainly) middle class audience members, but sincerely tells the working and underclass audience how welcome they are, but, that this show is not meant for them.
‘As for the fucking rest of you’ he says.
His voice echoes, the lights become cold, the music rises. I think, OH FUCK.
Then he breaks it with an ‘oh nothing, just wanted to create some tension’
He uses his signature sharp humour to highlight our tendency to polarise and stereotype.
‘I’m imagining you live in a Period Property, Georgian! There’s a Jo Malone reed diffuser!’
‘Whereas you were raised in squalor, I’m picturing it now… and Owen Jones is there! He’s livestreaming! For a channel 4 documentary about social housing!’
Class is complicated, and we can’t articulate it or confidently define ourselves, due to a British cocktail of confusion and embarrassment – but sometimes it’s all too simple, the bluntest hammer bangs on the side of my skull. Scottee can’t reunite the band he was in as a child because most of them are dead.
The only point in this- really brilliant- show that I’m not 100% on board with is the point in which Scottee references the voting boxes into which we all put a Waitrose token at the beginning. ‘What do working class people need? Love or Money?’ We are told that the audience split about 50:50.
‘You were told that there were two boxes. No one said you had to vote, but you did’
I don’t think that’s entirely fair. If you present an audience with something interactive, however ambiguously phrased, they are going to do it.
Class is a one-person tirade of autobiographical material and cultural critique, but I wouldn’t call it a rant.
The most targeted phrases are not accusations, but questions. I genuinely believe he wants to know the answer to them.
Why are you here?
What do you get from this?
Did you come to watch me cry?
It made me think: when we watch student productions of Yen or Trainspotting, what are we going to see? When my mum and I used to watch reruns of Jeremy Kyle, what were we looking for?
To feel smug?
To feel superior?
To make ourselves feel, in some way, better?
Class holds up a mirror (literally) and asks
Why are you here?
Class is on at Assembly as part of the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe, until 26th August 2019. More tickets and info here.