Underbelly
5-29 August, 12:50


Dougie Blaxland, whose Chauntecleer and Pertelotte was so extraordinary last year, returns to Edinburgh with a completely different but equally entertaining demonstration of his gift for language and his talent for a good yarn.

In this case, the yarn is one familiar to many people at the Fringe - the woes of a struggling young performer in her first years out of drama school but, in the case of Alicia Harding, reduced to dog sitting for a well-known director. As she says: “Win over the dog, win over the director, win the part, win an Olivier”. Things don’t go according to plan.

As performed by the sensational Jenny Harrold with supreme energy, pace and comic timing, Blaxland’s mixture of classic actors’ experiences and a comic, sometimes farcical story blazes brightly. Hannah Price’s animated but restrained production, on James Turner’s gorgeous set, shows that solo pieces can work if treated as plays rather than acting showcases.

Excepting a series of superfluous inter-scene blackouts, it is a flawless collaboration all round. An hour of undiluted pleasure.

- Benet Catty