Murray Hill: About to Break (2 stars)

Murray Hill: About to Break

A flimsy showbiz affair lifted straight from the Big Apple

A drag king of some renown back home in New York, Murray Hill is such a relaxed customer that he's happy to throw his script out the window and just riff with the crowd. All of which can only really take About to Break so far before it does indeed obliterate under the strain. In possession of nothing remotely akin to material, Hill gets three audience members up on stage for a largely humiliating (for one of the trio at least) dance competition.

Through some awkward sense of solidarity, the audience vote leaves the most embarrassed participant as the winner: his prize is a Tunnock's Teacake, which disintegrates in Hill's clumsy grip, leaving an almighty mess behind (yes, the metaphor was not lost). This charade eats up a good ten minutes and comes as blessed relief from the flaccid entertainment on offer from Mr Showbiz.

Hill does have some decent lines about gender fluidity, but any routines that might be considered even remotely relevant are shunned as he struggles to get himself up onto a bar-stool with a crooning closing number not far away. In the role of an evening's compere, you can easily imagine Murray Hill rocking a willing room with his bawdy-ish banter. But at an arts festival which does expect a modicum of craft in its performers, this if a flimsy affair.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 27 Aug, 9.15pm, £10.50–£12.50 (£9.50–£11.50).

Murray Hill: About to Break

  • 2 stars

Mick Perrin Worldwide in association with Alan Cumming A rip-roaring Edinburgh debut from a showbiz icon who lives to perform, and performs to live. He'll regale details of his chronic middle-aged crisis, numerous comebacks, and why he's Heartbreak Hill. Experience NYC's greatest still-living legend live, up close and…

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