Garry Starr Conquers Troy
- Yasmin Sulaiman
- 18 August 2019
Exquisite clowning around and joyful audience participation
After a hit run in 2018 with his debut solo affair, Garry Starr returns to the Fringe in recognisable garb. The Shakespearean ruff remains in place, and he's still trying to convince us of his supreme theatrical skills. But this year, he's swapped the Elizabethan tights for a lot less coverage: just a gold belt and a fustanella, in his bid to prove that acting truly was invented by the Greeks. It might be a new costume but even that comes off pretty soon in this hilarious show that's packed with first-rate gags and joyful crowd participation.
Australian performer Starr might be the only performer on stage, but thanks to his array of props – including a particularly winning wee horse – and a handful of game crowd members, the hour overflows with different personalities, all contributing to the piece's intoxicating comic atmosphere. Everyone in the throng wants to get involved, and highlights include a brilliant sketch where Starr turns into a musically-operated puppet, and when he challenges an audience member to be as mean to him as they can.
Displaying a real knack for dealing with the unpredictable, it's maybe no surprise that Starr (or Damien Warren-Smith, as he's otherwise known) went to clown school, and this show platforms modern slapstick at its best. Add to that his effortless likeability and Garry Starr Conquers Troy is an hour you won't want to end.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 25 Aug (not 19), 8pm, £11.50–£12.50 (£10.50–£11.50).