Garry Star Performs Everything
- Brian Donaldson
- 3 August 2018
A ballsy interactive affair with a big mission statement at its throbbing core
With his shock of curly hair, Elizabethan ruff, leather jacket and way-too-prominent crotch area, Garry Starr (aka the Gaulier-trained Damien Warren-Smith) certainly cuts a striking figure. Chucking out some wildly exaggerated movements and outlandish gestures, this Australian ac-tor has one simple ambition: to change the pitiful landscape of theatre for good.
So, this hour showcases Starr's all-consuming talents in everything from ballet to Pinter, burlesque to mask, and butoh to Wicked. As the title suggests, this might ultimately be a one-man mission, but help is required in the guise of continuous audience participation. While there are moments here that on other nights might have the picked-upon wanting to curl up and die, this particular crowd is dotted with extroverts who are very game for a laugh.
And no matter what feats of awkwardness Starr puts them through in the name of rescuing romantic comedy or saving Shakespearean tragedy, this malaprop-heavy character is never more committed to a cause than when it comes to trashing his own dignity. The Royal Shakespeare Company may have shunned this inspirational if flawed creative type, but Stratford-upon-Avon's loss is Edinburgh's gain. Garry Starr Performs Everything is a brazen and often hilarious treat with jeopardy written into every scene.
Underbelly, Cowgate, until 26 Aug (not 13), 8.10pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).