ComedyEdinburgh Festival FringeFringe & FestivalsReviewScotland

All Hell Toupée – The Rose Street Theatre, Edinburgh

Writers: Kate Bowes Renna & Jeremy Stockwell

Director:  Jeremy Stockwell

Reviewer:  R. G. Balgray

Who would have thought it? A Fringe one woman show about hairpieces – hence the punning title.

In Kate Bowes Renna’s solo turn at the Gilded Balloon Rose Street Theatre, the audience is promised “an ingenious one woman show …satirical comedy”. So, how ingenious is it? Well, quite. There are a fair few costume changes; small, medium and large hairpieces are threaded together to weave a complex, if far-fetched plot. Also, some unlikely props (an audience passing a plasticware container of tired looking guacamole has to be some kind of first…). And there are some interesting attempts to engage a small but sympathetic audience.

Satirical, then? A stronger claim, this one. Renna has a deft touch with some sharp, clever lines, often timed well. In our brave new world of social media, it’s difficult to disqualify links to the realm of the make-up artist. Add a Korean wow/crisis factor, and almost anything seems possible. So what about the comedy, then? Well, a bit up and down. Snappy satirical jibes jostle uncomfortably with silly voices; and some of the cringey humour of embarrassment can become simply queasy, with uncertain results. Overall, pacing and impact can be uneven. Still, the girl does have a point. The cod-thriller plot may – after all – not just be a hair-extension too far.  Global super-politics revolving round egoistic narcissists obsessed with ridiculous tonsorial cover-up jobs. Who would have thought it?

Runs until 13 August 2017 | Image: Contributed

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The Reviews Hub - Scotland

The Scotland team is under the editorship of Lauren Humphreys. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. We aim to review all professional types of theatre, whether that be Commercial, Repertory or Fringe as well as Comedy, Music, Gigs etc.

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