Phil Ellis: Au Revoir (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

Phil Ellis: Au Revoir

Another cunning hour from a master of the gleeful

Phil Ellis has always liked a good team around him. He helped make a kids' show fun for the grown-ups as leader of Funz and Gamez, but even in his solo work he is rarely the only person onstage. For Au Revoir, Ruth E Cockburn plays the character of young Phil as a constantly running schoolboy, while Jacob Hawley is pretty much himself, appearing deliberately late just at the point where everything appears to be totally falling apart (another Ellis trait).

The thrust of this show is that Ellis has finally decided to say goodbye to the Edinburgh Fringe, an arts arena which he no longer truly feels a part of. Whether he's 'doing a Gadsby' and this will turn out to be a false finish remains to be seen, but for now he's having to put up with criticism from his tech (who constantly warns him that he's over-running).

Au Revoir is a great excuse for him to show footage of his first-ever live performance, which he takes apart with glee. Nothing is ever what it seems in a Phil Ellis show and there are surprises and treats lurking in every nook and cranny. If this truly is adieu, then the Fringe will be far poorer without him.

Heroes @ The Hive, until 25 Aug, 6pm, £5 in advance or donations at the venue.

Phil Ellis: Au Revoir

  • 4 stars

Phil Ellis Phil says goodbye to Edinburgh forever. '"The time has come," the Walrus said'… Sadly, the Walrus was right, Edinburgh’s most beloved and under appreciated genius is bowing out. Much like the oysters in Edward Lear’s poem, Phil’s shows have been gorged on by audiences and critics alike for years without earning…