Ed Reardon: A Writer’s Burden

4 Stars

****

Christopher Douglas takes on the role of Ed Reardon in a humorous recounting of the life to date of an aging English writer who has squandered the possible opportunity to make his mark as an author of substance. Now he is living alone in squalor, embittered at the literary world’s failure to recognise, in his own mind, his exceptional talent, eking out a living writing contributions for obscure books which are the most likely candidates for remaindering.

As he looks back, he is aided by the excellent Josh and Nicola, members of his now defunct ‘Theatre in a Basket’ company in playing out significant scenes from his life. A large basket does feature as one of the main props. These witty and well observed sketches do complement his autobiographical approach.

From an early age, he displayed a precocious talent for spinning words in the most pretentious way. His apparent ability led him to believe he was on his way to success, fame and fortune. TV work and Hollywood beckoned but, apart from the odd episode in the series Tenko for example, recognition and all that it brings didn’t happen.

Now he appears a sad figure but he still has not lost his own sense of self-importance and uncompromising attitude. Although Ed has messed up his life and is divorced, his acerbic thoughts do resonate with some of life’s irritations and this does give the character credibility although not one that we would find likeable.

Reviewed by Ben (I should point out that Christopher Douglas and I share the same surname but, as far as I am aware, we are not related.)

Pleasance Courtyard – Forth: 33

3 to 29 August 2011

16.00 – 17.00

Fringe Programme Page Number: 259

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