WOW's guide to the 2015 EDINBURGH FESTIVALS

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Theatre review: The Peculiar Tale Of Pablo Picasso and the Mona Lisa

Published by petersimpson

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: The Peculiar Tale Of Pablo Picasso and the Mona Lisa at theSpace on Niddry Street (Venue 9), reviewed by Fiona Shepherd

This gleefully silly but highly entertaining caper from Fourth Monkey Theatre Company imagines, with presumably buckets of artistic license and a lot of mischievous knockabout fun, the circumstances surrounding Picasso’s arrest in connection with the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre when he was a young artist in Paris – circumstances which involve a dodgy geezer who supplies Picasso and his pals with artworks of dubious provenance and a blackmail plot hatched by an absinthe-fuelled vision of the five Demoiselles d’Avignon. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

The increasingly farcical action takes place against a bright white canvas on which the company paints a portrait of the artist as a young, arrogant, passionate, charming, self-absorbed shit, dismissive of his muse, not to mention the reputation of the Mona Lisa.

There are cameo characterisations of Gertrude Stein and Georges Braque and the company of 15 throw themselves into the performance with such exuberant physicality that it probably isn’t possible for the audience to enjoy this romp any more they are.

Until 24 August. Today 6:45pm

Originally published in The Scotsman

More info: The Peculiar Tale Of Pablo Picasso and the Mona Lisa is at theSpace on Niddry Street

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Peter is a journalist based in Edinburgh