Fringe review: Angry Alan

THE greatest catastrophe in human history, says the narrator on a projected video, is "the lie that women have been oppressed".

Another voice lists the world's best known inventors, leaders and artists as proof of the innate "greatness and goodness" of men; another rails against the "feminist lynch-mobs" of the #MeToo movement.

Laughter ripples around the audience before stopping mid-breath.

These excerpts are from the online world of the men's rights movement, and though simplistic and extreme, such attitudes have real life consequences, from the rise of the populist right in Europe to the election of Donald Trump. With barely contained rage, another speaker describes that event as one where the "people have spoken. And the people said 'f*** you!'"

An unshowy, electrifying one-hander, Angry Alan stars Donald Sage Mackay as Roger, a middle-aged American man increasingly enthralled with one of these gurus. It's changed his life, he says.

A put-upon middle manager at Safeway since losing a respected, well-paid job with AT&T, his ex-wife hassles him while his troubled son barely gives him the time of day. Logging on to makes him feel better, like he matters again.

There's relief too: the pain he felt wasn't cancer; it was the pain of being trapped in a cage created by political correctness and "gynocentric magazines like GQ".

Angry Alan is like Leo taking the red pill in The Matrix, explains Roger, allowing him to see the world as it really is. Now he can help fund the pushback against the feminazis and libtards who have made his life a misery – by donating generously to

Returning to the Fringe for the first since making waves with her impressive 2009 debut play F***ed, writer Penelope Skinner dissects the online radicalisation of disaffected white men and how extremism fills the cracks and vulnerabilities caused by a confusing, changing world and precarious, low paid work.

This is a master-class in economy, empathy and lightness of touch, both in terms of dealing with a complex phenomenon and as a piece of taut, gut-punching writing. If Meek, Skinner's other Fringe offering at the Traverse is half as powerful, that's recommendation enough.

Until Aug 26 (not 13), Underbelly Cowgate, 3.20pm (1hr), £12 to £14. Tel: 0131 510 0395. Tickets: #AngryAlan @chescmood @followthecow