Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Styx, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Andrea Mullaney.
A modern-day take on the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice set in a village twinned with The League of Gentlemen’s Royston Vasey, this daffy show really shouldn’t work at all. Yet somehow the cast carry it off, with enough charm to get away with some really corny jokes. Hero James Orphan arrives in parochial country village Styx (it’s in the sticks, geddit?), where the hottest topic of conversation is the installation of a defibrillator in the disused local phone box – three years ago.
Attempting to win back his ex-girlfriend, who has left him and the city in favour of the more “real” countryside community, James is waylaid by a deranged prophet, a jealous neighbour, a sinister landlady and a pedantic birdwatcher. Things descend into farcical violence as hapless James attempts to prove he’s less of a flimsy support, more of a sturdy ‘bag for life’. There’s not much substance here and repeated fiddly business with the set’s flats to change the scenes doesn’t really add a whole lot. Deliberate over-acting creates some easy laughs though and it’s all very amiable nonsense.
The Space @ Surgeons Hall (53) until 22 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 10 August 2015
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