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Spoiling (Edinburgh Fringe)

The upcoming Scottish independence referendum is the subject of this Fringe First-winning satire

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Firebrand: Gabriel Quigley in Spoiling
© Jeremy Abrahams

John McCann's 50-minute teaser of a play catches a mood of both euphoria and apprehension over the forthcoming referendum on Scottish independence.

The ayes have it, apparently, and the new Scottish foreign minister designate, Fiona (Gabriel Quigley), is preparing a firebrand speech for the launch of a cooperative agreement with the rest of the UK.

To describe her entrance - heavily pregnant and seriously hung over - would be as spoiling as her speech might turn out to be. Suffice it to say, there's so much paper work flying around, the detail might get lost in the attitude (David Cameron is cheerfully referred to as an Eton mess).

Quigley, resembling a seriously laid back Meryl Streep, is relishing the struggle ahead; we are not independent, she says, we are indentured.

And there's a nice twist to the possible outcome with the tug-boat presence of a new Irish political aide (Richard Clements), a veteran of the Northern Ireland assembly in Stormont, giving a wider perspective.

With the James plays looming on the international programme, and a discernible sense of excitement in the air over the Yes/No vote, Spoiling doesn't exactly claim a spot as the defining referendum play, but it does posit a few original questions.

Spoiling runs at the Traverse until 24 August