Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: The Emperor of America, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Ben Walters.
San Francisco, 1854, the height of the Wild West. Journalist Mark Twain rolls into town to find a menagerie of crooked grandees, professional killers, bordello madams and the self-declared Emperor of America, aka genteel bum Joshua Norton.
Breadknives Productions has hit on a fine setting and there’s lots of imagination and charm to this fusion of musical theatre, vaudeville, comedy, mime and live music – especially in terms of clever sound cues and live cinematic effects such as slow motion and flashbacks.
But it suffers from underpowered performances, wandering accents and muddy, sluggish storytelling, both within individual scenes and overall.
C Too (Venue 4) until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 14 August 2015
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