Christopher Bliss: I Spy With My Little Eye Something Beginning With Why Have You Been Sleeping With My Wife
- Craig Angus
- 20 August 2018
Gag-heavy comic play from a brilliantly delusional character
Having come up with one of the best, and definitely longest, show titles at this year's Fringe, Rob Carter has thankfully delivered a first-rate character comedy show too. In the past 12 months, his would-be literary hero Christopher Bliss has grown as an author. Having mastered the novel, the Shropshire-based writer has brought his debut play to Edinburgh.
After a quick warm-up (a 'raunchy' story starring the characters Andrew Bulge and Wendy Sex) he introduces the cast of I Spy With My Little Eye Something Beginning With Why Have You Been Sleeping With My Wife. First up is Frederick (the Tom Cruise of Shropshire) and Janet, his frequently confused next-door neighbour who had 'nothing else to do in August'. The three deliver a masterclass in oddity, overplaying their lines, losing their bearings and, in Bliss' case, confidently powering through some atrocious material. His winks and eyebrow raises suggest an innocent pride that, more than anything, endears.
Bliss' story is preposterous. The plot follows Michael, the popular proprietor of a Post Office in the village of Spatsbury. His world is turned upside down by the arrival of William Smith, who takes over a local newsagents and sets upon ruining Michael's life. An already silly set-up is enhanced by some deftly handed audience participation and costume changes. Bliss and his friends deliver a fantastic take on the deliberately bad show, a gag-heavy performance deserving of acclaim.
Pleasance Dome, until 26 Aug (not 25), 7pm, £10–£13 (£9–£12).