The Daily Tribunal

Within five minutes of entering the space, The Daily Tribunal cast have sat me down in the front row and appropriated my pen for the purpose of the show – an examination of the media (how it works generally and specifically how it corrupts). This is told from the perspective of the show’s two homeless characters who begin writing articles of their own.

The show is both a parable and a lecture, an analogy and a pantomime, and so it ends up meaning very little.

Consequently, I was unable to make any notes. Fortunately, this production is hard to forget. The Rooster Theatre Company show admirable dedication to one of their stated goals: to make "no place safe from theatre." They clamber over chairs to get to audience members in order to question or address them specifically; they had no qualms returning to me multiple times to keep me involved in their story.

This audience involvement also had a purpose beyond the company’s goals - it is crucial in making The Daily Tribunal's points about media tactics. The questions directed at the audience are inflammatory, uncomfortable and designed to provoke certain answers and feelings. Their link to fear mongering tabloid press headlines ought not to be lost on anyone. The performers happily ask the same question repeatedly until a certain response is given and thereafter scream and shout about that answer. When they questioned me, they seemed to enjoy my uncomfortable, awkward squirming as I gave the 'wrong' answer.

While all this is entertaining and engaging, the same could not be said for scripted dialogues. As there simply isn't enough of a narrative to sustain lengthy scenes between the characters, much of the dialogue wandered listlessly along, despite the obvious talents of the two performers. Clearly, a deliberate decision was taken to move the play away from the more classic, straight theatre style, but this really results in frustration when the story that we start to invest in is abandoned and then picked up again, seemingly at random.

It's possible to see that some sort of message about the press is being sent, but the clarity of this is lost in the strange mix of styles. The show is both a parable and a lecture, an analogy and a pantomime, and so it ends up meaning very little. Unfortunately it isn't performatively brilliant enough to get away with that.

The seed of something brilliant is here. The basic concept makes for a fascinating beginning, but the decision to challenge theatre conventions hinders the show rather than helped it. I'd also like my pen back.  

Reviews by Andrew Forbes

Valvona & Crolla

A Divine Comedy

★★★★
Just Festival at St John's

Hotel Europa

★★★★
Summerhall

Eurohouse

★★★★
Sweet Grassmarket

Beryl

★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

A Matter of Life and Death

★★★★★
theSpace on Niddry St

Fourth Monkey's Genesis and Revelation: Sodom

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Extra, extra! Today’s headline: two homeless men write daily article for local paper! Excited yet? How about some buzzwords? Deception! Depravity! Devised!! Get your fill of our exclusive coverage, and don’t worry about that pesky small print!

Most Popular See More

Wicked

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Witness for the Prosecution

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets