Leggoland – Colin Leggo
I suppose the first thing you would ask when you meet someone who’s an amputee is ‘how did it happen?’ And if that person has an exciting and knife-edge type tale of bomb-blasts, shark-attacks or losing-a-limb-in-Afghan – how perfect would that be for a solo show? As it is Colin Leggo‘s story is much more low-key. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes ten years ago – Colin lost a toe and lived pretty much in limbo (yes, there are puns about limbs and leg(go)s) until reaching an epiphany of sorts last year when he had a below-the-knee amputation. The limbo period however wasn’t a dark descent into drink, drugs and self pity. Instead Colin busied himself with writing ever more silly ‘exposes’ on how he lost his toe, sending them to Chat and the like. He also created a bit of an online sensation with dubbing Grand Theft Auto into Cornish dialect (Colin’s from that neck of the woods).
So far so irrepressible and admirably getting over adversity then. But there is another aspect to Colin with his dreams of stardom being thwarted at various stages of his life. For example breaking his leg before going on as the Artful Dodger in a school production of Oliver!. (He even has the slightly creaky footage of the production as proof) In fact – Colin muses – it’s always been some kind of leg injury that’s held him back. This is one of the many attempts to pull the show together into some kind of cohesive whole but it’s more like unrelated entries on a CV. So we go from ‘people called Colin and how boring is that name?’ to the aforementioned clips from GTA and the Chat articles reproduced.
People have been a bit cynical of late that a lot of shows on the Fringe follow a similar general pattern of lighthearted to dark to uplifting finale. I guess performers do it because – done well – it works. With Leggoland I was expecting a bit more dark even just to make the uplifting finale a bit more – well – uplifting. Coin is a very sunny bloke and along with the mundane origin of his amputation it’s probably difficult for the piece to venture into the darker reaches – I suspect that’s not the kind of show he wants to make. But he maybe needs to decide whether he wants to take us on a personal journey or give us a PowerPoint presentation.