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On The Beach (Edinburgh Fringe)

John Osborne, the creator of John Peel's Shed, returns to the Fringe with a new show based on his experience visiting seaside towns

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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This show is ostensibly a tale about walking along the beach in Weymouth during a lunch break one sunny summer's day. In fact, what writer/performer John Osborne has created here is a broader, beautifully-constructed, ode to holidays by the British seaside.

Nostalgic and romantic images of the seaside abound. Osborne's words take us to games arcades, shops selling 'Kiss Me Quick' hats and benches on the promenade bearing dedications to lost loved ones.

We meet some children digging a huge hole in the sand. An elderly couple who sit in deckchairs sharing a punnet of strawberries. A family clambering amongst the rockpools waving sticks with nets on the end.

If you've ever taken a break by the sea, at least one of the images conjured up is sure to bring back your own memories. Tears welled in my eyes on a couple of occasions as I remembered my own childhood holidays. Happy times indeed.

Osborne's gentle, slightly nervy delivery is thoroughly charming. On The Beach feels like a mini-holiday from some of the more frantic aspects of the Edinburgh Fringe. Sit back, relax and let the words wash over you like waves lapping around your tired toes.

On The Beach continue at the Pleasance Dome until 26 August