The Claim

Theatre (new writing, drama)

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  • ROUNDABOUT @ Summerhall - Roundabout
  • 12:50
  • Aug 25
  • 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Suitability: 12+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: By Tim Cowbury, Directed by Mark Maughan, Producer: James Quaife
  • Warnings and additional info: No latecomers.
  • Accessibility:
    Audio enhancement system
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 1 year


The Claim by Tim Cowbury, directed by Mark Maughan. A comically absurd and quietly shattering journey to the heart of our tolerant and fair society. Serge stands before us. He has a performance to give. But why is he here? What is he claiming has happened to him? And what has Willy Wonka got to do with it? A bold, imaginative response to the stories of those seeking refuge in the UK, The Claim asks what happens when your life is at stake and all you have to save it are your words. British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2019.

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General venue access

  • Audio enhancement system
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Information not supplied
  • Wheelchair access type: Level Access

  • Stairs: Information not supplied

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

Captioned performances

  • Dates: 7 August, 14 August, 21 August
  • Type: Closed (Tablet)
  • Booking options: You can book independently online, or contact our access team to book your tickets and request any specific seating locations or if booking a unit is required.

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Sean Davis 148 days ago

The Claim (*****)
A Congolese asylum seeker must deal with miscommunication between him and his interpreter and his harried interrogator. This play nicely conflates the subtle issues of mistranslation between desperate cultures with the exigencies of an overworked bureaucracy with the added pressure of unwanted social advances between co-workers. The whole becomes wonderfully exasperated as we know what he is trying to say, as the bureaucrat tries to force his simple story into the special box she wants to fit it in.

This was the 18th most enjoyable of the 152 Fringe shows I have seen so far this year. You may see my other three-sentence reviews, in order from most enjoyable to worst, at my non-commercial website:

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

Broadway World (3/5 stars) 144 days ago

Initially the appointment seems to be going well as Serge tries to tell the man who is interviewing him his story. This man can speak his language and the two get along and manage to have a laugh. The interviews are normally conducted as pairs so when the man's partner...

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The Wee Review (4/5 stars) 146 days ago

Serge is seeking asylum. He appeals to two nameless officials, A and B. He strikes up an easy camaraderie with eager to please, self-effacing A. B is harder to impress, certain she’s abiding by the rules, certain Serge is there to catch them out. This is a brilliantly acerbic script...

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An Organised Mess 147 days ago

f there was ever a production which drew you in as much for the response of the audience as the performance, The Claim is it. Assured writing and acting ensures the audience is fully committed.

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Fest (4/5 stars) 153 days ago

With lines of communication apparently open and functioning well, a young African man named Serge meets his interpreter ahead of making a claim to remain in the UK. The process seems simple and straightforward, and the interpreter (known simply as ‘A’) is on his side. Then ‘b’, the claim assessor,...

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Exeunt 154 days ago

The Scene: One of the many extremely awkward conversations you have with a semi-stranger whose name you’ve forgotten in the courtyard of Summerhall, Edinburgh (when the hour is too early for wine). OH HIIIIIIIIIIIII. Howareyouwhathaveyoubeenseeingwasitgood?  Oh, HEEEaaay…. [vowels fade out of existence like a dying firework]. Umm yeah, I was...

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To Do List (4/5 stars) 155 days ago

A well-balanced three hander that finds you laughing and leaves you worrying.The Claim is a show about language, about refugees and about human relationships. Pretty big topics, but it is not over-intellectual or smug. Clever, yes. Scary, that too. But it doesn’t feel sanctimonious. There is a great humour to...

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Miro Magazine (4/5 stars) 156 days ago

The Claim’s dialogue is snappy, firing back and forth like a tennis match, one side desperate to hit a winner and the other just trying to stay in the game. There’s an inevitability in who will emerge victorious when one is out for blood, cloaking personal motivation in a guise of professional and moral duty.

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The List (4/5 stars) 157 days ago

Brutal and relentless portrait of modern Britain's asylum system...

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FringeReview 158 days ago

Two men circle around each other – one has a story to tell and the other one is paid to listen to it. How difficult can that be? Pretty difficult it turns out as Serge and many other asylum seekers like him have found out to their cost. Serge repeatedly...

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A Younger Theatre (4/5 stars) 159 days ago

Echoes of Kafka’s The Trial resonate clearly in Tim Cowbury’s The Claim at Roundabout, Summerhall. Serge appears before us, having fled to The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and is speaking to an apparently affable immigration offer, named “A”, about his situation. As in The Trial, Serge is caught in...

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Broadway Baby (4/5 stars) 165 days ago

Exploring the experiences of those seeking refuge in the UK, The Claim is a compelling examination of language, power and storytelling. Serge (Ery Nzaramba) seems to be here for an interview. In the following hour, we bear witness to his attempts to explain how he came to be in the...

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.