Writer and Performer: Nick Hall
Reviewer: Glen Pearce
We’re all footnotes in history, but what about if history has forgotten you. That’s the fate of Spencer Percival. While Lincoln and Kennedy have large volumes dedicated to their assignations, Percival’s dubious claim to fame, the only sitting British prime minister to be assassinated, have been largely overlooked.
It’s an oversight comedian, and self-confessed history buff (proudly telling us of his 2:1 History degree), Nick Hall is determined to correct. Over an hour Hall delivers a history lesson, unlike anything you ever had at school.
Hall’s breakneck hurtle through Percival’s life, it’s questionable if he ever pauses for breath during the hour, is peppered, he freely admits, with ‘alternative facts’. It though a take of political manoeuvring that even Trump would be proud of, a tale of the second son of a second marriage rising to the highest office in the land. It was a premiership that delivered much, including the abolition of slavery, but much as now, the fear of outsiders and a growing movement looking to take back control threatens to destabilise the establishment.
Hall’s witty and engaging delivery may have echoes of the Horrid Histories series but this is a much more grown-up affair. Topical references help us engage with the tale and provide plenty of comic potential alongside the historical fact. Ok, so some of those historical facts may be more questionable than Hall’s eBay purchased period costume but that doesn’t matter. The accessible and open style not only entertains but leaves us wanting to know more. Spencer Percival’s Wikipedia entry is likely to see a surge of hits post-Brighton and there’s not many one man fringe comedy shows can claim that.
Runs 6-7 May at The Warren Studio 3
www.brightonfringe.org | @brightonfringe
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