The true story of the feud between Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle proves to be rich fodder in this interesting new play at the Fringe.
Just as Doyle will not be dissuaded in his belief in Spiritualism, Houdini refuses to countenance its existence. The pair embark on a trans-Atlantic pas de deux each to convince the other. Reality bounces straight off Doyle as Houdini continues to debunk psychic after psychic but Houdini’s premature death prevents the pair’s reconciliation.
Alex Cox delivers a charismatic turn as Houdini and Phill Jupitus is a competent, if horribly accented Doyle. A compelling piece, well worth a watch.
There’s little to say about this recreation of four of the legendary ‘missing’ Hancock scripts save that you will be hard pressed to find anything of better quality on the Fringe this year.
Faithfully re-staged with an infinite eye for detail and starring the absolutely wonderful Kevin McNally as the man himself, and the hysterical Robin Sebastian as a scene-stealing Kenneth Williams, the accuracy brings goosebumps. This is a class act from start to end and it won’t come as any surprise that the laughs still come by the shed-load 60 years after they were written. An evocative walk down memory lane.
Billed as “a madcap comedy of illusion” this Easter European existential examination of loneliness and existence is certainly not that.
Bulgarian absurdist playwright Hristo Boytchev’s incomprehensible play ruins the long-awaited return of film and TV star John Hannah to the Fringe. Hannah’s acting is faultless and his sleight of hand tricks thoroughly impressive, but the soul-searching avant-garde script isn’t enough to keep the interest levels high for the 70 minute running time.
It is a pity as Hannah is a fine actor with a great stage presence – one can’t help think that this is a huge opportunity lost.
There’s a world water shortage and you can only pee if you pay, that is the premise of Greg Kotis and Mark Hollman’s Urinetown.
Presented by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, this is a high quality production with a talented cast of a, quite frankly, meh! musical. In trying to be clever (it parodies the musical theatre form and many hit shows) it just isn’t as clever as it likes to think it is.
Too many pee-related puns which get thin quickly and an instantly forgettable soundtrack save the glorious “Run, Freedom Run” render it a pleasant way to kill a few hours but little more.