Bonkers fun for anyone who’s ever wondered who they really are, If I Were Me follows a socially awkward copywriter named Philip’s (Nasi Voutsas) attempts to find himself and change his life for the better. Philip works a job in which he is totally unremarkable. His potted daffodil is dying, whilst everyone around him has one in bloom. Nobody pays him the slightest attention and everyone around him is seemingly superior in every way. That is, until Philip finds himself lumbered with a copycat (Mercé Ribot). This stalker, let’s call her Philip 2, prompts Philip to prove the best version of himself (in the form of a song and dance number) and win over his peers.
This surreal look at a man’s mundane life explores what makes us who we are in a stylish manner. The quartet cast bound, groove and tennis their way around the office setting, changing scenes with a simple movement of desks. Jasmine Woodcock-Stewart’s direction keeps the show moving at a good pace, so it starts to feel like a party as the evening progresses. In addition to Philips original and duplicate, we’re also introduced to obnoxious Hannah (Daniela Pasquini), overexcited Paola (Pasquini) and motivational speaker/suitcase enthusiast Trevor Rovert (Daniel Foxsmith). They’re likeable characters, well-acted by a strong comic cast who openly welcome the audience into their kooky world.
There’s never a dull moment; the show keeps the laughs coming in equal measure to the strange. However, as much as I enjoyed the narrative and as much as the experience was entertaining, I’m not sure what I was supposed to get from the show. I leave smiling but feeling that If I Were Me lacks substance.
If I Were Me is a warm production that will leave you feeling snug over chilly Edinburgh evenings. Did it teach me anything? Well, thanks to Trevor Rovert (Daniel Foxsmith), yes: Distinctify*.
*Make of that what you will.
If I Were Me is playing at Underbelly Cowgate (Venue 61) until 16, then from 18-30 August as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. For more information, visit the Edinburgh Fringe website.