Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Distinguished Gentlemen (But Really Just a Couple of ***ts), reviewed by The Scotsman’s Sally Stott.
Froffy, filthy, fabulous and fun, this gay-themed period drama has the structure of a bedroom farce, the jokes of a late-night drag queen and the heart of a high-quality pantomime. Since their debut show in 2008,The Adventures of Butt Boy and Tigger, Australian company Outcast Theatre have created a collection of follow-ups with similarly out-there titles, including The Importance of Being Earnest as Performed by Three F**king Queens and a Duck. But behind the provocative language there’s the kind of polish you rarely find in theatre tackling sex and relationships in such a gregarious and defiantly populist way.
Once again, talented writer Steven Dawson uses his seemingly effortless ability to mimic the wordplay of period dramas – where everyone’s saying one thing but meaning something else – and turn it into a vehicle for innuendo. Dawson, Toby Greenslade and Lee Threadgold are delightfully silly but sharp as the three flouncing Georgians: a sherry- guzzling old sozzle, an elderly, obsessive romantic waiting for his wife to die, and a young trickster manipulating anyone whose sexual appetite makes them reach for their wallets. It’s a simple spoof, but one that’s delivered with warmth, energy and panache.
theSpace on the Mile (Venue 39) until 29 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 13 August 2015
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