Umbrella Man (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

Umbrella Man

credit: Todd Richter

Life on the road with humour

Doug comes from the Black Isle in northern Scotland, but has spent the last year or so showing tourists around Angkor Wat, with disarming charm and desert-dry humour. How he ended up in Cambodia, though, is a long and convoluted story of lost love, bizarre conspiracy theories and a terrifying poker scam. And he'd like to tell you all about it.

If you can brave a 10am start, Edinburgh-based poet Colin Bramwell's tender solo show makes for a beautifully thoughtful – and often very funny – opening to a day at the Fringe. Using anecdotes from an unassuming life, poems railing against the establishment and a dose of fine piano playing too, Bramwell paints a picture of a life adrift, of a futile search for the edge of the flat Earth, and of how to charm customers in Portobello's Subway. There's plenty of whimsy in Bramwell's sometimes elusive creation, but as its threads draw together at its understated conclusion, it packs a surprisingly potent emotional punch.

Bramwell is a naturally witty performer, charming with anecdotes while teasing with studied understatement. But it's the richly resonant layers in this bittersweet show that linger longest in the memory.

Summerhall, until 25 Aug (not 7, 12 & 20), 10am, £10–£12 (£8–£10).

Umbrella Man

  • 4 stars

Teuchter Company – Colin Bramwell Umbrella Man is the story of a young man from the north of Scotland who tries to prove the Earth is flat. Using poetry, storytelling and improvised piano to take audiences on a journey to the outer limits of common sense, Umbrella Man comes to Edinburgh fresh from a critically acclaimed…