With thousands of shows squeezed into the city in the month of August across all styles of performance and performer, the very act of making a decision to purchase a ticket may already indicate a propensity to take a risk, but there are several kinds of risk and accordingly people may approach them differently depending on what they perceive them to represent.
Enter Lady Fortune’s Casino, your host the comedian and presenter Timandra Harkness, experienced in the Fringe having diced with death alongside Matt Parker when they considered the mathematics of mortality in Your Days are Numbered, now performing solo in the Assembly Roxy as she encourages audiences to Take a Risk, the roulette wheel and table a splash of green in the otherwise darkened downstairs room.
Divided into simple categories, the psychology of risk taking and risk aversion is considered and the audience as a whole are invited to participate, gambling on the outcome of random events and their appraisal of fellow audience members; with the whole crowd involved from the outset, fellow collaborators in Harkness’ research, there is little chance of any feeling “singled out.”
Examining choices and implications of physical dangers, long term health considerations such as indulging in bacon and booze, financial, emotional and social risks, she has an anecdote for every occasion, justifications for actions both sensible and precarious which are personal and entertaining, though despite perception not all risks are necessarily hazardous.
The radiation she received on her international flight to Chernobyl likely equivalent to what she received while on site at the decommissioned reactor, similarly despite the alarmist reputation of nuclear reactors they have caused far less loss of life than the side-effects of the pollution released by traditional power stations.
From the surprising life expectancy of nuns, not entirely through their choice of chaste lives of privation, to the slim but non-zero chances of being struck by lightning or winning the lottery – though they are not linked, so one does not preclude the other – Take a Risk is informative and entertaining, the perfect light start to a Fringe morning.