The Girl with the Edinburgh Tattoo

Enjoy yourself – it's later than you think!

But, seriously…

Review for 12 August

I’ve enjoyed most – and absolutely loved some – of the comedy I’ve seen on the Free Fringe. However it’s nice to get a bit of variety so I decided to seek out that very rare animal on the FF – theatre. So glad I did. Started out with Lovecraft’s Monsters as performed by David Crawford. The venue (The Wee Pub) is seriously tiny and while that added to the intimate ‘gather round, people, and I’ll tell you a tale… ‘ atmosphere it’s a shame that it precludes David from getting a bigger audience. And here is a man who deserves a good audience as he’s a quality act who oozes professionalism; from his Bostonian gentleman appearance to his gentle, but commanding, voice you feel he was born to be a teller of ghostly tales.The shortish show starts with a description of H P Lovecraft’s formative years and moves onto the telling of one of his stories. It struck me at this point that I had actually never read anything by the author but that was immaterial as I was soon swept along with eerie accounts of slithery mutant fish-like people inhabiting a creepy New England town. If you are a Lovecraft virgin yourself imagine Edgar Allan Poe or even David Lynch and you’ll get the picture. If you’re a fan – like the young guy sat beside me who whooped with delight when a one of H P’s stories was merely mentioned – you will be in seventh heaven… or some other otherworldly place. (13.15 every day until 24th Aug)

My next theatrical experience of the day was another one-man-show but with completely different subject matter. Who Did I Think I Was? I say one man, but Peter Henderson plays two characters: firstly the father who is in his eighties, ex-RAF, stiff-upper-lip type moving into the winter of his life. Secondly, the son, fifty-odd, ex-punk, ex-alcoholic, still clinging onto the idea of being a bit of a geezer. The premise is the son, running out of options, is on the verge of moving back in with dad. We get to know the two characters through dad reminiscing into a dictaphone for the Imperial War Museum and son addressing the audience directly. The theatrical devices are simple – Peter puts on a dressing-gown and a pair of specs to become dad, but it’s his brilliant acting skills that make you believe you are in the company of two men. I would say ‘different men’ but the whole crux of the play is that the son becomes the father and vice versa. It’s a beautifully judged and affecting piece, brilliantly written and acted. As with Lovecraft’s Monsters – highly recommended. (The Counting House, 14.30 every day until 24th Aug)

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