London Student

NSFW at the Lion and Unicorn: ‘balanced satire, sharp humour and vulnerability’

What is it like to work in a consumer magazine? Not I Theatre presents a dark comedy about young people starting out in the media. Unpaid intern work, crazy supervisors and fallen hopes are what the young editorial team at ‘Doghouse’ – a men’s magazine devoted to cars, fitness and undressed women – have to deal with every day.

A young woman, after several years of unpaid work, joins ‘Doghouse’ magazine, compromising her values and lying to her friends about the nature of her job. A shy graduate is forced to choose between the opportunity to finally write an article and expose his private life to the public. A lad who loves banter, having joined ‘Doghouse’ because he knows the ‘right people’ in the sector, is coerced into participating in ridiculous tests of his masculinity to write about for the magazine.

At ‘Doghouse’ events escalate so quickly that bittersweet truths are revealed. However, we discover similarities over at ‘Electra’, a women’s magazine where feminism becomes clickbait and manipulative.

In a game between power and aspirations, the characters deliver great laugh-out-loud lines. The dialogue is very rich, with some great speeches and confrontations. The topic couldn’t be more relevant and by over-accentuating certain aspects of editorial dynamics, NSFW speaks the truth while making everybody laugh. The actors’ performances are excellent – although portraying caricatural traits, they are able to add several layers to them as well as room for introspection.

NSFW not only kept the audience hooked until the end of the show, but even when you think it can’t get better, it continuously surprises you. Not I Theatre’s talent lies in performing with such versatility, moving from hilarious gags to moments of intense drama. The approach to the topic is well thought-out and well-researched – but crucially the satire never loses its balance, mixing sharp humour with tender vulnerability.

8/10

NSFW will be performed at The Space on Niddry St (Venue 9), 426 August at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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Elena Losavio

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