Gary Starr Performs Everything
Komedia Sun 16 Dec 2018 8pm
As pitches go, it’s an intriguing one – Garry Starr’s dismissal from the Royal Shakespeare Co. following ‘artistic differences’ has led to the disgraced actor’s one-man attempt to perform every genre of theatre in 60 minutes, with ‘little regard for his personal safety and (arguably) less regard for art’. And it’s clearly worked, drawing critics and packed audiences across the UK since its sell-out run at Edinburgh 2018, and garnering a slew of 5-star reviews and awards, including the OtherPlace/Balkan Award at Brighton Fringe 2018, and Best Emerging Artist at the Adelaide Fringe. The Guardian called the show a ‘drama masterclass…from clownish chaos to feats of comic genius’
The genius lies in the concept – for Garry Starr is in fact an alter-ego for the very much not-disgraced Damien Warren-Smith – the avowed mission to save the doomed art form of theatre providing a tongue-in-cheek in-joke for the theatre establishment (Brian Logan called it comic catnip for theatre people) whilst still including – and amusing – the rest of us.
Under the direction of Cal McCrystal (The Mighty Boosh, One Man Two Guv’nors), we run the gamut from contemporary-dance Kafka to fever pitch physical comedy, via Shakespeare and Pinter, with added audience participation and naked ballet, but the slapstick is weighted with a deep understanding and love of the breadth of theatre, and finely honed skills beneath the silliness. This is first-class fun-time meta-theatre – catch it while you can.