Simon Slack: The Fantasist (4 stars)

This article is from 2015

Simon Slack: The Fantasist

An innovative, weird and beautiful show about a loner confined in every way

This is the kind of show that the Fringe is all about. Late at night in a tiny theatre at the back of a pub, squeezing pasts tens of people who are waiting for an entirely different show (the chaos at the venue is another story), we’re here to see a guy perform a series of vignettes in his underpants. 'Simon' is largely confined to his room as well as his underwear, spending his time furiously masturbating, not writing his masterpiece and bonding with no one but his freakish (though don't judge by appearances) ventriloquist's dummy Puppet 5000 AKA Martin.

If that all sounds terrible it's exactly what the show isn't. Granted, at first, there are some bemused faces in the crowd, but The Fantasist is innovative, weird and beautiful in equal measure. So tightly choreographed is the show that what could so easily be a gratuitously hack wanking scene is transformed into ballet. Everything is performed with the physicality of both a dancer and a comedian with Slack's clowning akin to a young Rik Mayall.

The narrative becomes increasingly poignant as we are drawn further into the tiny world of ‘Simon’, struck by an unspecified social anxiety with only his increasingly sympathetic puppet for company. Utterly mesmerising and really quite wonderful.

Banshee Labyrinth, 226 0000, until 30 Aug, 11pm, free.

Simon Slack: The Fantasist

An absurd one-man sketch machine, Slack smashes together the worlds of imagination and reality.