Writer: Stuart Bowden
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
There is always one show each festival that takes your breath away. This is it: an experience so bizarre, hilarious and melancholy that it will not only engage but elevate you. And you will never be able to explain why!
Stuart Bowden is, simply, baffling. A lime-coloured-sock-and-sleeping-bag-wearing mystery who elicits laughs from the crowd without even speaking. Or moving. His veryaurais funny. You know how sometimes you laugh at something, then forget what it was that started you off, and that causes the sort of hysteria that ends with you snorting, coughing up a lung, and/or weeing a little? Bowden is that something: painfully funny while at the same time making you feel inexplicably sad. His songs, built from a looped casio keyboard and borderline ridiculous vocals, somehow become the kind of heart-wrenching melodies that Belle &Sebastian would be proud of, and you catch yourself quietly wiping away a tear in the blackness before the next round of raucous cough-laughs begins.
Awkward, off-beat, inoffensive and inspirational:Before Us, is the perfect antidote for the jaded Fringe-goer. You WILL hold hands with the person beside you – and not only that, you’ll be glad you did. There is something impossibly life-affirming about this seemingly silly show, and you will definitely catch yourself singing or humming his finale song as you float home to change your underwear.
Runs until 24thAug