‘Trigger Warning’ review – Disclaimer comedy causes confusion

EUROTRASH’s safe space satire struggles to push boundaries – ★★★

International collective EUROTRASH’s new play stumbles into the trigger warning debate. Hurriedly unfurling the red carpet, two brightly dressed hostesses advise the audience about HOPE, a production littered with scenes which some viewers may find distressing – apparently.

Robotic, gimmicky and eerily sanitised, it’s unusual that its commentary on trigger warnings is purely exaggerative. This is mockery without the punch. Hyperbole without a meaning.

Alternating between controlled but witty instructional dialogue and farcical physical theatre, the production is as doubtful and uncertain as its protagonists. As a duo, Kath Duggan and Daniel Hay-Gordon (who mainly communicates through a female voiceover) give contrasting and entertaining performances. Duggan beams with forced enthusiasm, yet Hay-Gordon’s masterful micro-expressions suggest a more uncomfortable and troubled individual behind the fakery.

For a show which seeks to provoke – to take aim at this emerging form of safeguarding – it is rather timid when it comes to making a point other than implying content notices are, at times, excessive. Using comedy to flesh out this argument over an hour, it is impressive and fortunate that it only just starts to become exhaustive towards the curtain call.

Perhaps rather ironically, it is the controlled witticisms at the start of the play which are the most impactful, rather than the expressive tangent that follows. While occasionally comical and intriguing in its absurdity, Trigger Warning is disjointed, repetitive and, for one specific scene, tiresome – but don’t say they didn’t warn you.

Trigger Warning is now playing at the Camden People’s Theatre until 9 November.

Production Images: Harry Elletson.

Disclaimer: I was invited to watch Composed for free in exchange for a review of the performance as a member of the press. I did not receive payment for this review and all opinions stated are honest and my own.

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