Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Ernie, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock
An acting graduate in 2013 with a handful of small television roles and stage parts already behind him, actor James Craze seems to have used this hour-long monologue – his first professional work – as a portfolio piece as much as anything else. It shows off his warm versatility, and it’s elevated beyond the standard of many similar ‘look what I can do’ exercises in getting the performer’s face on a stage in Edinburgh both by the 23-year-old Craze’s ability as an actor and by the genuinely personal nature of the piece.
Ernie Hort was Craze’s grandad. Born in 1924 in London, he wrote an autobiography before he died, and it’s this which Craze takes to the stage here. Noting, in Ernie’s words, that he hasn’t done anything spectacular, it leads us through the ordinary brilliances of a member of the World War II generation, of surviving the London Blitz, serving with the Royal Navy during the war and of being part of a British society which picked up the pieces after VE Day. In Ernie’s case, his interest in planes and need for a job to support his family took him out of London to the suburbs and to a life in engineering. It’s no mould-breaker, but Craze brings the right tone and a sense of believability to his many characters, and those seeking a nostalgias hit won’t be disappointed.
Gilded Balloon (Venue 14)
Published in The Scotsman
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