This Is Not Culturally Significant is a story of those who live next door, or the flat above and to those significant in structuring the next generation. What future is being created and how in tune are we to human instinct and need?

Culturally SignificantHow aware of one’s surrounding is an individual? What impact does this have upon oneself? Adam Scott-Rowley’s super-fast and interchanging monologue asks these questions whilst stirring discomfort. One character may grab your attention, yet, with switching between a whole community of people, it becomes impossible to dedicate emotion to one sole breath of life. Scott-Rowley as actor, writer, director, achieves a truly engaging production and something much more, something that elevates this monologue somewhere far superior to his peers’.

Advertised as such, with warning – full nudity. There is plenty of hype behind this production and Scott-Rowley’s nakedness cannot be the only reason. He embraces bare nature and effectively weaves it into the dark matter of the mind. Previously performed at Etcetera Theatre and Edinburgh fringe, fully clothed, the reason to utilise nudity came for the run at the VAULT festival.

Not one for advocating nudity within the realms of theatre, in particular when actors are exploited for sales, with This Is Not Culturally Significant, ideas and notions easily contradict past conversations. Scott-Rowley, distinctly projects each character’s vulnerability; revealing the stripped pornography of the mind. An honest depiction: revealing raw thoughts and disclosing secrets.

Choosing to open the play hidden behind a computer screen, Scott-Rowley enters with his act of masturbation, as the Webcam girl invites laughter from the young audience. Stirring the imagination with vivid imagery cleverly stirs the audience’s mind. In reality, there is no screen, instead a chair and light guide us step by step with each character.

As Scott-Rowley proceeds, and each character emerges, his naked body becomes invisible in itself – instead we are given a glimpse into the modern day, our co-existence with other people. Webcam girl is encouraged by Dennis Hardcock Doncaster; and his wife mourns her dead son whilst fearing the very man who is now willing to abandon her.

Minute by minute a new character is exposed. A homeless Glaswegian, a police officer, a prank playing lesbian, and a university lecturer: these are a few. It’s almost difficult to decipher whether the webcam girl and the homeless woman are the same, whether her seduction of the police officer correlates to her act of sexual pleasure with Dennis.

If there’s a possibility to extend the script even further (it was originally a 25 minute long piece), focus on tense moments, instead of switching back and forth, this will clarify any confusion. There is much to learn about Dennis and, in particular, his wife, but switching to the dancer’s eyes distracts from that longing. Excessive use of different emotions in a very short play leads to moments of frustration.

If this, however, is to highlight our fickle minds, as we switch between news stories, and to those around us, the piece itself then elevates to genius status.

Scott-Rowley deserves his standing ovation, a multifarious role in which he never ceases to surprise. An exhilarating journey of a cultural reality.

This Is Not Culturally Significant is a story of those who live next door, or the flat above and to those significant in structuring the next generation. What future is being created and how in tune are we to human instinct and need?

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This Is Not Culturally Significant
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Madhia Hussain
Madhia is British-Pakistani and lives and breathes the air of the theatrical world. Her main area of expertise is playwriting, with occasional producing roles. In her free time, other than venue hopping, she enjoys travelling through different cities and occasional trips back to her hometown, Middlesbrough, in the northeast. She champions the need for more underrepresented people to be featured onstage around the United Kingdom.