Edinburgh Fringe Review: Scroobius Pip – Words

– reviewed by Lucy Ayrton


(Lucy is one of the intrepid Sabotage reviewers covering the Edinburgh Fringe this year, look our for more reviews from her coming soon!)

Words is an hour of clever, engaging spoken word, delivered with verve. And a Duck Tales theme tune cover.

There were some great jokes in the intro sections, and the warmth of the audience was evident throughout. Scroobius is a charming and charismatic performer, with an endearing self awareness and a wicked wit – some of the reversals of expectations he pulled were properly surprising (In my notes I have written “hmm, this section is a bit … Haha, okay, boobs, nice twist!”). The delivery of the poems was faultlessly tight and most of the material was astute and clever as hell.

After a while, the strong meter that carries so many of the poems started to sound a little bit samey – the emotional range of the show is massive, and it might have been nice to have some more range of style. I also found a couple of the poems a little preachy and patronising, especially The Magicians Assistant. This poem, addressed to someone who self harms, seemed less an honest attempt to understand and explore the issues around loving someone with depression and self harm and more of a guilt trip. Other sensitive issues in the show were tackled with grace and insight (I especially liked the material around domestic violence).

The most impressive thing about the show was its craftsmanship. The balance of incredible verbal dexterity and a total command of language with whole-hearted fun and some hard emotional kicks is irresistible. If you have a friend who “doesn’t like poetry”, take the, along to this and see if you can change their mind.

4/5 stars.

Words is on at the Pleasance Dome until 26 August at 21:40 every day. Book tickets here.