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FILTH based on the novels by Irvine Welsh adapted by Harry Gibson

Etcetera Theatre, 18 – 20 August 2017

Part of Camden Fringe

Presented by Skin & Bone



A stonking filthy Glasgow Kiss




As the show kicks off, it becomes clear that the filth of the title role is an officer of the law who has chosen his job for the sole satisfaction of abusing the power it gives him.  It ranges from manipulating homophobia, racial abuse (especially the English), and sexually abusing underage girls.   This character is so flawed and the scenes of his depravity so harrowing that the switch off button is hovering.  


Part of the genius of play is the reverse chronology.  It shows you what he has become, before showing you how he got there.


Filth takes on a new meaning when we are introduced to his coal miner dad who forces him to eat a lump of coal.  Filth also features large as sexual abuse and rape, a central theme throughout the play.


When we go back a generation the play powerfully confronts the question of whether genetic inheritance makes us who we are or upbringing.  


An awesome performance from actor Jake W Francis, playing over 30 roles, including a tapeworm, switching flawlessly from an authentic Glaswegian accent to a myriad of others.  As though he has insanely multiple personalities, he becomes Japanese, Pakistani, English and female voices of all ages.  He also displays endless slim seductive legs in high heels in the scene when he cross-dresses to ensnare men.  


There’s a neat little low budget set (Jo Wright) which does all it needs to do and an appropriately loud sound track (Davide Vox) which effectively matches the mood without interfering with the play. Anna Marshall’s direction gives pace and ensures in yer face Jimmy, a stonking filthy Glasgow kiss.  



Etcetera Theatre, 18 – 20 August 2017 6.30pm



Reviewer Heather Jeffery is editor of London Pub Theatres magazine (email for press releases:  Formerly she was playwright and Artistic Director of Changing Spaces Theatre.  Her credits include productions at Drayton Arms Theatre (Kensington), Old Red Lion Theatre (Islington), VAULT festival (Waterloo), St Paul’s Church (Covent Garden), Cockpit Theatre (Marylebone) and Midlands Arts Centre (Birmingham)

filth stars 5 Read all our reviews