Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: The King of Monte Cristo, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock.
Any self-referential play about the world of the theatre arriving in Edinburgh will probably have to do something special to stand out. This production from the Watch This company isn’t necessarily a special one, but it is a brisk and well-observed comedy which raises laughs and avoids navel gazing; in this context that makes it a pretty decent proposition. It tells of the first day of rehearsals for a brand new play from Olivier-winning director Penelope Crawford, and her playwright’s decision to change the script at the last minute in the face of conflict from the prima donna cast.
It’s silly, but it’s astute in the way it corrals its mix of exaggerated characters and pits them against each other. There’s an experienced female actor; an unknown who Crawford mercilessly bullies and ignores to show her who’s boss; a Hollywood star who lives on her mobile phone; and an incredibly pretentious male actor called Brent, who was in Coronation Street back in 2009 and says he knows Meryl Streep. He talks himself into the new lead role and then discovers he’s a zombie flesh eater who eats shit to lose weight. If that sounds like fun, then you’ll enjoy this.
The Space on the Mile (Venue 39) until 29 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 26 August 2015
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