Graham Clark Reads the Phonebook (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

Graham Clark Reads the Phonebook

A weighty concept happily makes way for some local colour

For the first five minutes Graham Clark literally reads from the phonebook. There are a few nervous titters as the fear grows that this might be some esoteric concept piece (well the show is called Graham Clark Reads the Phonebook). As the tension mounts he breaks from his monotonous diatribe to explain how the title came about by accident and now he finds himself stuck with a phonebook-themed show.

For those geeks who love details, the book in question is a 2011 Vancouver edition. Luckily there's a surprising amount of material to be found hidden within the pages of this anachronistic tome. In the same way as when you say a word over and over again until it becomes gibberish, by examining a seemingly mundane object to such an extent its inherent ridiculousness is exaggerated, turning the everyday into the absurd.

There's a lull as he takes requests for favourite letters and paws through the pages reading out various entries but a guest appearance from the current Edinburgh edition adds some local colour. Produced by Fringe favourites the Pajama Men, it's quirky and often brilliant but gets slightly trapped by the confines of its concept. And we'd love to see self-confessed 'creepy flatmate' and big beardy hunk of love Clark bring his own unique perspective to a wider subject.

Assembly George Square Studios, 623 3030, until 31 Aug, 5.20pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).

Graham Clark Reads the Phonebook

  • 3 stars

Graham Clark produced by the Pajama Men In an era where the phone book is going extinct, Graham Clark Reads the Phonebook serves as a fitting eulogy to the tome everyone used to own. Clark will leave no stone unturned while focusing his observational lens on the subject at hand. Age category: 14+