Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"Hugh Hughes in...Story of a Rabbit" - Edinburgh Fringe 2007


Although "Hugh Hughes in...Story of a Rabbit" had been well received, even winning a Fringe First, this isn't always an indication that we'll find something wonderful (and shows how theatre is a very subjective experience). However the reviews and a recommendation from Helen Smith prompted us to give it a go.
Statler had reservations from the outset as I'm renowned for having a "low tear threshold", so a story that intertwines a tale of a dead rabbit and a dead father could result in a very soggy Waldorf. I'm infamous for having cried during Bambi - when he was born. However, despite its morbid subject matter this is very much a feel good show.

From being greeted with a handshake by Hugh Hughes (Shon Dale-Jones) at the door, to an audience member being given a cup of tea (as you drink a lot of tea when someone dies) to the explanation of where his father's soul was when Hughes was returning home after the funeral the whole show is wrapped in niceness and charm.

Dale-Jones' presents Hughes as a somewhat bumbling and simple character, who is likeable enough, but with a tendency to smile just a little too much. This was tempered by some audience interaction at the start - where we possibly saw the man behind the mask. We were apparently the first audience in which someone had tried lying to get a cup of tea, and the third to give Aled (the man behind the music) a round of applause when introduced...but hadn't applauded Hughes himself. In some ways the more spontaneous reactions to these events provided more humour than the later set pieces.

The projections on the back drop worked well as did most of the props, including a versatile Action Man. The upbeat ending was welcome, but did make me feel like I'd just spent some time with a life coach.

All in all I enjoyed the show at the time (despite the mad dash across the Courtyard to Markus Birdman at then end due to it overrunning), and felt I'd spent a pleasant afternoon. However the badges handed out by Hughes at the end are probably what I'll remember most.

2 Heckles

Sean said...

He really annoyed me, thought the whole thing was totally fake! We also applauded Aled, and that was his 'first time' too (and I know we didn't see it on the same day).

I've done a short review on my blog (under Edinburgh Reviews 1, I'm building up to the full nearly 50 shows I saw...)

Waldorf said...

No, we were the third to applaud Aled - the man behind me was the first to try and cheat his way into a cuppa.

We've been reading your thoughts tonight - glad to see you made it back in one piece. Don't know how you managed to fit so much in.