A SHOW that questions what it is to be Scottish is causing a stir at the Edinburgh Fringe. Suffering from Scottishness is a dark comedy that also focuses on the Yes movement and asks whether it is losing its way.

Created and performed by National Theatre of Scotland Breakthrough Writer Kevin P Gilday, it is set in a post-Brexit Scotland. In order to keep the Union together some more powers have been devolved to Scotland and one of these is citizenship.

“It is trying to work out what questions you would ask as part of a Scottishness test,” Gilday told The National. “Is it how much you can drink or whether you know what the national anthem is or do you just want Scotland to be better and a society that helps people?

“It starts off quite fun and we are having a laugh then I start drilling down into what it means to be Scottish. What are the criteria? Are we open to everybody?”

READ MORE: The best of Edinburgh Fringe: Critics' and public's favourites

Halfway through the show, Gilday’s character Joe McDaid discloses that he is a supporter of Scottish independence.

“That’s splitting the room every night with some cheering and some not,” revealed Gilday. “I think it must be about 75% Yes and 25% No. The people that are against seem to be more quiet whereas the Yes supporters tend to make a bit of noise when the character says that bit.”

Although McDaid declares that he is in favour of independence, he starts to question what it means and whether the Yes movement has changed from what it was before the 2014 referendum.

“I wanted to write about the way the debate has got a bit polarised and become tribal,” said Gilday. “I wanted to get across that we are losing the nuance by making everything black and white and about this one issue. Scotland is so much more complex than that.

“It is one of the big things in the play. I think some people have lost sight of why they wanted independence and now just care about getting it by any means possible.

“I know I wanted independence because I wanted a more equal society and I feel that is being lost a wee bit.

“My character still believes in independence but is questioning how the best way is to go about it. Is what we are doing helping or hindering what we want to achieve in future?

“I think there is a lack of debate and we are not allowing people to speak without jumping on them. If you can’t have a reasonable debate then I don’t know where you go from there.”

The play stems from Gilday’s desire to explore his own identity, which was sparked when he was abroad in Barcelona and then when he was touring Canada and the United States.

“One thing that identified me to these people was that I was Scottish, not my eyes nor my hair colour,” said Gilday. “It was just that’s the Scottish guy.

“That was really interesting because I never felt particularly Scottish when I was a kid.

“I grew up in an Irish Catholic household in the east end of Glasgow and my aunties bought me Republic of Ireland football tops. It made me wonder if I was Scottish. Was I allowed to be that? Who makes the rules?

“Although the show is asking that in a fun way there are serious points about identity, culture and gatekeepers. Who gets to decide these things?”

In the play there is a section on Scottish language where Gilday’s character asks the audience to read out amusing Scots tweets which are usually in Scots slang or contain several swear words.

“It’s funny because I don’t know where the audience is from,” said Gilday. “I’ve had an Italian guy trying to read the tweets and posh people

reading out the sweary ones.”

The play includes a rap about Scottish inventors and Gilday also plays a song on the ukulele dedicated to John Smeaton, the baggage handler who stood up to terrorists at Glasgow airport.

“It gets a wee bit more serious as it goes on as I make sure I’ve got everybody on side and feeling good before I start hitting them with the hard stuff,” said Gilday.

“I want people to come along and have a think about what the Yes movement is just now. Are we doing it right, are we on the right path or are we getting side tracked?”

Suffering from Scottishness is at the Assembly Roxy until August 26.