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The Right Size in Bewilderness

Writers - Sean Foley, Hamish McColl & Jozef Houben
Director - Jozef Houben
Designer - Alice Power
Venue - Traverse Theatre (0131 228 1404)
Dates - 25th-28th April, 8pm
Tickets - £10 (£5)
Reviewer - Daniel Winterstein

The Right Size say their work is easier to watch than describe. Daniel Winterstein does his best.

Terry and Morris (Sean Foley and Hamish McColl) "friends for 20 years, albeit with a 20 year gap" meet for a reunion game of golf. Unfortunately this has to be put on hold when the pair fall down the back of a sofa and find themselves trapped in a strange underworld inhabited by an old man and a sinister banjo player. What follows is an hour and a half of no-holds-barred silliness. The Right Size combine a very surreal attitude with visual jokes, post modern self-references, playing with the audience, occasional music numbers and a little slapstick. The result is a fresh and funny piece of clowning. There is also a plot, but it's complicated, incoherent and largely irrelevant to the action.

Foley and McColl keep the audience laughing. There is a lot of material here, and the jokes come thick and fast. Their clowning is nicely offset by deadpan support from Freddie Jones and Chris Larner. The production values are excellent throughout. Costumes and props are wonderful, and used to good comic effect. The set is full of surprises and the play delights in a stream of simple but fun special effects.

There are faults. Some of the gags are predictable or weak, although there are more than enough good ones. The duo keep jumping from being in character (2 men lost down the back of a sofa) to recognising that they are actors in a show. This makes for some nice jokes, especially when they interact with the audience. However it has the side effect of making suspension of disbelief difficult, hindering involvement with the plot or characters. Without such involvement, the randomness and wackiness can get a bit a tiresome.

In general though, the inventiveness of the play shines through. Bewilderness is light good-natured fun which should appeal to a wide range of people.


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