This Is Not Culturally Significant, VAULT Festival

By guest critic Jo Trainor

“Beans, beans good for the heart, the more you eat the more you…”

Adam Scott-Rowley packs an almighty punch with his one man show This is Not Culturally Significant. Twelve characters struggling with the every day, are pieced together in this brutal, beautiful, brilliant performance. 

Scott-Rowley often moves between his characters as if he’s going through an X-Men-esque transformation. The transition can look incredibly painful but he also moves seamlessly between storylines. His range of personalities and the little connections that bind them prove what a clever piece of theatre This is Not Culturally Significant is. Each of Scott-Rowley’s creations feel entirely developed even if they’re only on stage for a few minutes, and he has perfected the unique grotesque and outrageous physicality and facial expressions that define each of them.  

There is so much vulnerability on stage and yet there are moments that you can’t help yourself from laughing. A woman mourning the loss of her partner, explains that she has started the peculiar habit of swapping organic eggs for the regular kinds in Tesco – Scott-Rowley’s delivery is just hilarious. Scott-Rowley is skilled at pairing jarring scenes or characters together. Abused wife Miriam’s realisation of her husband’s late night antics is so entirely heartbreaking to watch, and yet you’ve only just stopped chuckling at the sex cam girl saying Derek from Doncaster in her American accent. There are plenty of moments where you’re asking yourself whether or not you should be laughing and this creates this constant unnerving feeling across the audience. 

It’s loud, it’s naked, it’s strobe-y; This is Not Culturally Significant could well be the best show you’ll see at the VAULT festival, so get a ticket before everyone else catches on. 

This is Not Culturally Significant runs through 19 February.

The Play’s the Thing UK is committed to covering fringe and progressive theatre in London and beyond. It is run entirely voluntarily and needs regular support to ensure its survival. For more information and to help The Play’s the Thing UK provide coverage of the theatre that needs reviews the most, visit its patreon. 

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