The Domestic Extremists

Theatre, Fringe
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A smart new politically engaged play from Dan Davies.

When fledgling director Chloe pitches a documentary about student activism, she’s told it’s not sensational enough for Daytime Lifestyle, a channel preoccupied with churning out ‘shit-hot shit’ like ‘Convicted Cooks’ and ‘Whore By Choice’. But after the 2011 riots turn civil unrest into a hot potato, she’s given a chance, and the truth she uncovers turns out to be too sensational for her commissioners to handle.

Jonathan Leinmuller gives a strong performance as Christopher, the once respected journalist-turned-trashy-TV-exec, who then transforms from a hyper-gesticulating David Brent-y douche into a remorseless, expressionless whistleblower. It’s Christopher’s moral shift that keeps the play ticking over – it’s just unfortunate that his is the only character with dimensions to spare.

Still, while Dan Davies’s drama doesn’t deliver the ’Twitterbombs’ of the TV shows it parodies, ‘The Domestic Extremists’ remains a smart, politically engaged production, albeit one that’s a flabby scene or two away from true thriller territory.

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