There are one or two sparks about Lewis Davidson’s optimistic performance as a traveller through the American freak shows of the Barnum and Bailey era: he can swing on a trapeze quite confidently; and he can emulate Sylvester McCoy in the old Ken Campbell Road Show by banging a nail up his nose.
And that’s it, folks. Covering some of the same territory, but less imaginatively, as in Futureproof at the Traverse, Davidson plays a vaudeville buff called Robert Ingham travelling to museums and freak shows in New York city and Coney Island, where he encounters bearded ladies, Siamese twins and all manner of ungodly creatures at every turn.
But if the idea is to send a shiver down our spines in a ghostly atmosphere, the effect is the opposite. Davidson himself is far too nice a performer to upset us, and his staging of silhouetted illusions and spectral apparitions sadly rudimentary and technically naff.