Well, here’s a pleasant antidote to the routine celebration of iconic superstars on the fringe. Greg McLaren’s solo mash-up show does indeed have snatches of Doris, but also recorded vox pop material on the streets of Bristol and Cambridge, where Greg gets the passing audience to sing back to him.
He also gets us to sing back to him. It’s what theatre’s all about, when you think on it. There’s a sweet, slightly tragic irrationality about this jobbing busker and one-man band composing a crazy opera of animal noises, escalator songs (from the shopping mall) and Wagnerian excess.
And, despite the title, he really likes Doris Day (though he might not like his rival fringe show about Doris, A Sentimental Journey; his is more like A Semi-Mental Journey), revealing that when his mother got upset, she used to “run away” to Doris Day.
So, after all the impromptu arias based on half a second of a children’s church chorus, or random phrases such as “Where’s the cheapest car park?” we see Greg, running on the spot towards Doris, numbing his own sense of failure and inadequacy. But he shouldn’t be so defeatist. His little show is a fringe gem of great charm and originality.