TRISTRAM SHANDY
Hill Street Theatre, Edinburgh
August, 1990

Stephen Oxley's 1989 Fringe monologue now stands as the first half of a diptych. He makes an urbane and decorous Tristram, apologising profusely for the digressions he is unable to resist. As in Laurence Sterne's novel, these meanderings are the real meat of the work so much so that, beginning the second part, he can summarise the previous 70 minutes as "I was begot; I was born; I was named". To this account is now added another multitude of weird 18th-century anecdotes, such as Tristram's accidental circumcision by a falling sash window. A smart piece of literary truncation the show's not bad either.

Written for The Independent.

Copyright Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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