One Edinburgh Fringe staple is the “me show”: an hour of material about
the performer or their family, whether theatrical or comic. I have
already written of Matthew Zajac’s search for the true story of his
father, The Tailor Of Inverness
Ben Moor’s Not Everything Is
is not, strictly speaking, a “me show”; its tale of
a man following the entries of a mysterious prescient diary, interwoven
with that of someone footnoting the first party’s writings, is clearly
fictional. However, the gracious, lateral-thinking, joyously clever
Moor seems to inhabit all his stories. This is a more muted affair than
his recent previous offerings (soon to be published), with less of the
wide-eyed, unabashed wonder which he can make so surprisingly
palatable; nevertheless, three stars for Moor equals four and a half
for most of humanity.
Wonder is also in less plentiful supply in Daniel Kitson’s latest
storytelling show. Hitherto, these pieces (which he first began working
with five years or so ago) have tended to be fabulous and luxuriant
fictions, in contrast to the autobiographical misanthropy which largely
fuels his primary stand-up sets. On this occasion, his material is
drawn from his own experiences: recollections of the flat he occupied
for some six years, “the longest relationship of my life”.
Consequently, and particularly when he speaks of his odious landlord,
the polished phrasemaking which is Kitson’s trademark is tinged with
some bile, which a delightful stage design of miniature
apartment-scapes contained within suitcases cannot quite disguise.
Stefan Golaszewski, of the comedy company Cowards, is the winning wild
card in this hand. His account of a brief but spectacularly intense
relationship during his teens is never underplayed. Indeed, for the
first quarter-hour or so I wondered whether anything of note would
emerge from the mildly amusing but unexceptional account of a banal
east London teenage life. When the poetry of love fountains up from
this tale, it is enthralling precisely because its language is not
purple or overdone; he
describes feelings, images and epiphanies precisely as they have struck
us all at one time or another. We don’t need language to make them
transcendental – we have the common bond of lived experience.
Golaszewski ends with another common but touching insight: he gives his
beloved’s name, Betty Wallace, just in case she might Google herself.
Written for the Financial