25 Stories (3 stars)

A quarter century of tales crammed into a theatrical comedy hour

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This article is from 2015.

25 Stories

Alex Watts considers himself a ‘flouncy woopsy’ of a man, and gently mocks his own bookish, tweedy ways in this show, where the not-long graduated English student and former bookshop employee combines 25 of his stories with stand-up. Jack Reacher, Marvel Comics’ Thor and the Flower Fairies are all treated to his theatrical parodies, read aloud with the confident command of a frustrated actor, treading the carpet with nothing but a ring-binder and some laminated bits of paper for props.

Elsewhere, he gets some of his bigger laughs drawing from the feminist critical theory he read at uni for an awkwardly bawdy skit (or as close as he’s happy to get to being bawdy), where the writer asserts that the waterfall Sherlock Holmes drowned in is really just a massive, terrifying vagina. His imagined spins on the ‘if-by-whisky’ style of political doublespeak is also deftly done.

Still, 25 stories seems a few too many in an hour; his wordier, more serious subject matter falling flat in places, making the otherwise entertaining show seem overstuffed in parts. Edited down a few chapters, there’s a good set in there for sure, but you might just need to skim read a few passages.

Sweet Grassmarket, 243 3596, until 30 Aug, 12.45pm, £7.

This article is from 2015.

25 Stories

  • 3 stars

Alex Watts Alex Watts – ‘original, dark, and at times horrendously funny’ (Stage), worked in bookshops for years. This left him broken, embittered and incurably addicted to books, stories and words. Come to see him tell his own strange and dreadful stories, from the extremely short, to the really unbelievably brief.

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