Kevin Tomlinson charts man's progress through life in Seven Ages
The erstwhile comedy performance is returning as a drama to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013
This article is from 2013.
Although last year Kevin Tomlinson’s extended improvisation on Shakespeare’s seven ages of man speech was a success under the comedy label, its return is firmly in the theatre section. ‘I didn’t just want to be judged by whether I was being funny,’ he says.
In Seven Ages, Tomlinson roves from mewling, puking infant to shrunken, toothless ancient, with help from actress Abi Hood and, of course, the audience. His unique selling point is his ability to set up a punchline he has yet to see: at the start, the audience writes random comments and quotations and throws them on to the stage. At key dramatic moments in each of the seven ages,Tomlinson picks up one of the crumpled papers and reads out whatever some smart-arse in the front row has scribbled down.
It might be hilarious, bathetic or bonkers, but Tomlinson’s experience – he has been using half masks, wigs, hats, and a baby doll to work through the different stages of our life cycles since 2005 – allows him to work the line into his witty and moving improvisation.
Just The Tonic at The Caves, 556 5375, 3−25 Aug (not 13), 3pm, £10 (£7). Previews 1 & 2 Aug, £5.