Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Will Greenway – For the Ground that Grew Me, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Susan Mansfield.
It’s getting to be a sub-genre on the Fringe: the whimsical personal monologue, often delivered by a young man with a hipster beard while someone strums a guitar. As one half of the Lounge Room Confabulators, Wil Greenway helped pioneer this style of homespun, lo-fi storytelling on the Fringe.
His latest tale meanders through parts of his own life and the lives of his parents and grandparents, circling around the theme of what remains of us after we die. It’s a story made up of digressions, including a dog walk in Melbourne, which probably didn’t happen, and a description of being sick on a bus in London, which probably did. Will Galloway and Kathryn Langshaw provide the obligatory musical accompaniment.
Greenway is a good writer, but he has a tendency to push past vividness into the grotesque, whether he’s describing having a piece of glass removed from his foot or vomiting on a carpet. He aims for profound, swerving around sentimental by, for example, describing clouds as “fluffy turds on a sky blue pool”.
His work is performed well and sincerely, yet this show seems to add up to less than the sum of its rambling, semi-connected parts.
Underbelly Med Quad (Venue 302) until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 13 August 2015
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