Monsieur Montpellier: Entertainer Extraordinaire!
This article is from 2009.
In a well-trodden Fringe tradition, Monsieur Montpellier is a cabaret performer who just can’t help getting things wrong. Aided by his show-stealing assistant Le Cabaret, the grand monsieur waxes lyrical about his many life experiences (meeting Bernard Manning in Vietnam is the improvised travelogue at the heart of tonight’s show), reads the audience’s minds (“What’s your name?” “Angela.” “Correct!”) and, at a high point, performs a deft feat of escapology.
Le Cabaret is the show-stealer however; his faux-French accent holds up better than the monsieur’s, and his quick thinking physical improvisations using a fez and a pashmina produce everything from a cityscape to an dental patient’s eviscerated innards. Whether the monsieur is a grand illusionist or, as he invites the audience to consider, “just a charlatan from Watford”, is not really up for serious debate. There’s nothing impressive here. It’s the abject silliness of a show continually on the brink of falling to bits that carries the laughs. Come for the spectacle and stay for the pathos – belly laughs of embarrassment ensue.
Pleasance Dome, 0131 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 10.00pm, £7.50--£8.50 (£6.50--£7.50).