Theatre review: Phil Wang – Anti-Hero
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Phil Wang – Anti-Hero at Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), reviewed by Jay Richardson
Notwithstanding his dismissal of such hyperbole as “hot tip” and “eagerly anticipated”, this is a perfectly enjoyable debut from Phil Wang, and it shows plenty of promise.
With a Chinese father and English mother, his racial heritage is an underlying consideration for him. But it’s not one he evokes for casual stereotyping, beyond noting Hollywood’s tendency to cast Chinese actors at the extremes of wise or stupid, and the enjoyable little laughter traps he sets so he can spring and claim, “that’s racist!”
He’s an intelligent, attuned observer and his thoughts reward attentive listening, the nuanced reflections and subtle asides lulling you into his mindset. Once there, you appreciate his claim to be both a feminist and a bit creepy, probing a productive schism between his progressive nature and his considerably more base desires.
His masturbation material is as drolly witty as the rest, though he maybe lingers on this section too long before recovering his appeal with the realisation that Missed Connection dating ads in the paper probably aren’t for him.
There’s no single standout routine and you yearn for Wang to ratchet up the momentum occasionally. But Anti-Hero is a decent introduction.
Until 25 August. Today 5:50pm
Originally published in The Scotsman