SPOKEN WORD – Darren McGarvey AKA Loki: Scotland Today

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STAGGERINGLY honest and raw, McGarvey’s take on the state of Scotland’s class system is the most necessary show you’ll see all year.  [star rating =5/5]

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Following the success of his 2018 show Poverty Safari Live, Darren McGarvey, AKA Loki, returns to the Fringe with a fresh look at poverty and social mobility in Scotland.

With his signature blend of spoken-word and rap, McGarvey reflects on class inequality through the lens of his struggle with his new-found rise in social status.

As someone who has made his name “punching up” against the system to make his message heard, McGarvey admits that his rise in status makes him uncomfortable.

Yes, he’s achieved success and gained a platform to call for change – but it could all be taken away from him at any moment if he steps out of line.

This instability is reflected in the more reserved, comedic material at the start of the show, likely intended to please the middle-class audiences in attendance. He touches on the false idea of meritocracy and how social mobility isn’t really possible for everyone, despite he himself being falsely being held up as the poster boy for the ideal because of his success. 

This polite veneer is stripped away when McGarvey disappears backstage and returns as an alternate version of himself from another timeline. Now he’s able to say what he really feels without worrying about how it’s received by the audience.

His raw, vulnerable admissions about his struggles with mental health and addiction are a stark reality check for those who had been laughing along with his earlier material.

Aggressive and painfully self-reflective, McGarvey then gives a scathing indictment of the middle-class and their unwillingness to call for change for the less fortunate, despite being the only ones with the power to do so.  

McGarvey’s show is a tour de force, forcing you to open your eyes and question your role within our societal system.

A thought provoking and inspiring evening, Scotland Todayis a true call to arms for the middle class to use their voices responsibly and enact real change.