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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Fringe review: the dark side of corporate charities

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​The 3rd Sector, currently playing at the Edinburgh Fringe, leaves the audience wondering where their donations really go

It might be the most cynical of looks at charities, but if you can’t laugh at yourself then who can you laugh at?

Presented by Pure Theatre, satirical comedy The 3rd Sector which is currently playing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, shows the darker side of corporate charities and might just leave you questioning why you work where you do.

Inspired by real-life events, Marlin and Josh work for fictional charity Transplants for Britain.

Backed by an 80s one-hit wonder and his glamorous wife, it demands the public “give a piece of yourself”. Literally.

But as naive Marlin, back from a gap-year in Africa funded by her dad, and cocky PR man Josh examine the ethics of their roles, they ultimately question how much of themselves they are prepared to give.

It’s debatable how much poetic licence writer playwright Paolo Chianta has allowed himself but the overall theme of The 3rd Sector is on topic, flirting with charity finance models and examining public questioning about how their donations are really spent.

It might not do much for the public perception of charities but funny one-liners about Jeremy Clarkson and the Charity Commission keep the hour-and-a-quarter-long show moving quickly.

Directed by Lilah Vandenburgh, it makes simple use of the cave-like Bunker 2 venue, with the six actors changing the set with minimal fuss.

Definitely one to see for those working in the voluntary sector but if you can relate to too much of it then it’s maybe time for a career change.


The 3rd Sector | 12:30pm daily until 25 August | Pleasance Courtyard



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