Camden Fringe Review: Seven Colours / Breaking Legs / Adrian Poynton

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 100 months ago
Camden Fringe Review: Seven Colours / Breaking Legs / Adrian Poynton

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Adrian Poynton: sweet-natured comedy
It's thespian afternoon at the Etcetera Theatre. In Seven Colours, a mysterious 'director' has locked six actors of varying degrees of ability and failure into a house for a fortnight and told them to find 'the truth'. Naturally, the crucible environment provokes much melodramatic posturing, but it's hard to know how much of the play is piss-take and how much is genuine. After all, each character's 'performance' is (deliberately) ludicrous, but presumably the Fold Up Theatre company has had to work them all out in rehearsals and it's perhaps a bit too po-faced for its own good. There's also a lot of unnecessary film projection which we'd have preferred to see done live. The truth is, how you feel about this play is probably going to depend on you as an individual.

Much more engaging is Breaking Legs, a funny tale of two understudies vying to get on stage by fair means or foul. Alfie (writer Philip Lawrence) and Miranda (Alison Edmunds, with an evil glint in her eye) quarrel and scrap in the wings as we gradually begin to understand why the spotlight means so much to them. Lawrence and Edmunds are refreshingly natural in such a small space, with a great rapport and comic timing. You'll be rooting for these two to achieve their small dream long before the end.

Adrian Poynton spends about 15 minutes good-naturedly bantering with the crowd before even starting his new show, but his improv is just as funny as the prepared stuff. After recently turning 30 and getting married, he found an old primary school photo and wondered how his old classmates were doing in their lives. But instead of going and doing some research, he made their stories up. It's less work that way. Poynton's sweet-natured delivery would probably get him killed on something like Mock the Week, but his instant likeability makes you wonder if the world might be a nicer place if more comedians could make their point, and still be hilarious, without being quite so vicious. And you get to learn some brilliant facts about proboscis monkeys, which is a bonus in anyone's book.

Seven Colours ends on Monday, Breaking Legs ends tonight, both at the Etcetera Theatre; Adrian Poynton's last show is tonight at the Camden Head. Camden Fringe runs until 30th August. All tickets £7.50. Check out other Fringe coverage on Londonist.

Last Updated 23 August 2009