Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Laurence Owen: Cinemusical, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kate Copstick
It quickly becomes apparent that The Gods did not so much smile on Laurence Owen as burst into tinkling peals of delighted laughter. He is a gifted composer and musical arranger, a witty lyricist, a versatile engaging performer, a nimble mover, plays a mean rock guitar and has a fabulous singing voice. He has a real feel for comedy – clever parody being the thing here – and his preppy good looks complete a pretty much perfect performing package.
His ambition is to write the soundtrack for a big Hollywood blockbuster. Independence Day, he suggests. I think he is pitching his sights too low. Cinemusical is a ridiculously clever, brilliantly performed “ultimate film musical”. To be fair, there is a lot of Disney influence in here with a smattering of lonesome cowboy. But mainly Disney. And the parody is superb. Spot on. Everything parody should be. Opening with the title track, Owen canters us through the cinematic canon before getting stuck into his delightful tale of a reluctantly Evil Queen, Boyd the Boid (an artistically frustrated avian sidekick), a transgendered Bond henchman and a Happy Cowboy going in search of a possibly mythical figure who will sort out all their problems. Believe me, your Fringe is not complete before you have seen Owen play a Jewish New Yorker bluebird playing Julius Caesar.
The simple device of an everchanging movie soundtrack propels us to the film’s climax via low-budget horror, Richard Curtis’s London and an “unrealistically cheerful vintage war film”. Each song is a small but superb comedy routine all on its own – pointed and perfectly focused to stick it to its subject with brilliant barbs. Not many performers outside a circus show at the Fringe take your breath away with their talent. Laurence Owen does.
Voodoo Rooms (VENUE 68B), run ended
Published in The Scotsman on 29 August 2015
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