REVIEW: The Intervention – Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012

Our final piece of theatre for this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe was the intriguingly named The Intervention. This was another play that Stacey and I pulled out of a list of many due to the name and an interesting description, and was offered tickets to go and see it via our connection at Clicket. We found it a play just as intriguing as its name.

I guess that some would say that by writing this, I’m ruining the ‘surprise’ of going to see the play, but neither Stacey nor I particularly enjoyed the surprise ourselves, so; this play contains some very full front-facing male nudity. In fact, the nudity comes very close to the beginning of the play (and admittedly, by the end of the play, I had more or less forgotten about it) – so if you do go to see The Intervention, be warned (especially if you’re a lesbian!).

However, the nudity is merely part of the setting, the character building of this play. To summerise, The Intervention is the story of a group of people who are trying to stage an intervention upon their boyfriend, son, best friend, nephew – an alcoholic. However, as is often the case in such situations, it is found that for each of the characters, judging someone else only highlights their own flaws. From the aunt who is unable to have children of her own, and yet lost her nephew, through to the distressingly annoying best friend to the (inevitably) cheating girlfriend, none of the other characters has any right to judge; and by the end of the play, you’re lead to wonder whose intervention this really was.

The Intervention is a new piece of drama from Dave Florez, and as such can be considered a little unpolished. The switch between comedic and serious (and even disturbing) is fast, and the best friend character never truly feels 3-dimensional. Similarly, the descent of the father into dementia is brushed into the audience rather than being shaped into being.

However, those small criticisms aside, this is modern drama which screams to be heard. It was not easy watching – of all the characters, only Zac the alcoholic was anywhere approaching ‘likable’, and the problems of the characters are not resolved by the end of the play. This is not a performance to see if you want to leave with a storyline neatly tied up, a moral learnt and with characters better than they were at the beginning of the play. Instead, this is a play which will stretch your mind and your imagination, and captivate you for over an hour. An  intensely good watch.

4 stars.


  • Now – 26th August 2012
  • The Assembly Rooms, George Street
  • 19:05 (1 hour 15 minutes)
  • 16+
  • Find tickets here – The Intervention


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