Woolly: The Morose Merino
- Rowena McIntosh
- 9 August 2017
Silly yet emotional hour about a ram looking for love
Woolly, real name Alexander Cofield, opens his Edinburgh Fringe debut with an elaborate shearing routine, as he slowly sheds his sheep onesie until he's left with just the knitted balaclava and smeared eyeliner of his show posters. There's a moment of uncertainty as he follows this accomplished mime with vocalising his need for sex before we settle into a quirky hour about a ram looking for love in Australia.
The Morose Merino is a lightly veiled retelling of Cofield's own trip to Australia, but presented in a much more theatrical manner than straight-up confessional storytelling. It also features physical comedy as he races about the theatre pretending to need the loo on a plane, a spot of tightly scripted beat poetry, good-humoured audience involvement and plenty of sheep puns.
As a piece of storytelling, it's sometimes factual before funny, though knowing precisely how to shear a ram might come in handy one day. The character of Woolly is surprisingly endearing, and remains so throughout, bar a cheap closing plea for a random audience member to 'be his'. This is a story of heartbreak, adventure and the pursuit of happiness that succeeds in providing both silliness and emotional depth, along with added fleece.
Assembly George Square Studios, until 28 Aug (not 25), 1.35pm, £9–£10.