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Hunchback of Notre Dame

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Pleasance Courtyard
7-29 August, 15.15

With the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pip Utton continues to build upon his excellent reputation for one-man shows at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Utton is utterly convincing as the lonely, loveless and heartbroken Quasimodo. Disfigured and deaf, with a hulk like form and cumbersome movements, he contrasts strongly with the pale and still form of Esmerelda lying centre stage.

Understanding that he has lost all that he had loved, and that there is no future for him, he unburdens himself to the audience. Between moments of rage, impassioned outbursts and tender reflections, he rails against all that is bad in the city, reflects upon its superficiality and a value system that made him an outcast for his whole life. When he looks the audience in the eye and asks whether or not it could kiss and embrace someone so ugly there is an uncomfortable silence.

A simple set and the intermittent ringing of the cathedral bells beautifully accentuate what is a thoroughly enjoyable performance.

- Margaret Scott


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