Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Cul-De-Sac" - Edinburgh Fringe 2011

There may be those that will argue that this is pretty slight stuff; that middle class suburbia is an easy target; or point to the audience's tentative response to some of the less politic views expressed by the characters. But none of that matters. What matters is that it's funny.

When Tim (Alan Francis) moved his family into the Cul-De-Sac in search of a better quality of life, he wasn't expecting just how far the influence of community idol Tony would impact on his family. We never meet Tony, but we learn all about him through Tim's new neighbour Nigel (Mike Hayley) and local GP Dr Cole (Toby Longworth). Francis and Hayley bring their obvious comic talents to the piece, but it's Longworth who gets the chance to really show what else he's capable off. "Menacing" doesn't come close to covering it - he wouldn't be out of place as a playful psychopath in the next series of Luther. There's a great deal of skill in the writing too - including a gag that takes a long time to develop but pays off brilliantly with one of the funniest fight scenes you're likely to see at this year's Fringe.

I suspect word of mouth is already spreading about this one - on a wet Wednesday afternoon I bought the last ticket an hour before the show.

Cul-De-Sac runs at the Pleasance Courtyard until 28th August (not 15th or 22nd)
Image used with permission