3 Stars


Edinburgh based, amateur company Big Village Theatre embrace the spirit of the Fringe by showcasing new writing. In 2009 Neil Walden won the Company’s writing competition and now his entry is being premiered. This does represent something of a gamble but his comedy is given a lively and highly entertaining treatment by director, Paul McGuigan.

The story is set in the early years of the 20th century. Eddie McDowell successfully plays Richard Arrowsmith as a parody of an Edwardian gentleman explorer. Since, Amundsen and Scott have cornered the market in terms of the race to the South Pole; Arrowsmith needs another epic journey to find his place in history. A heroic expedition to the centre of the earth starting from Iceland is his inspired choice. Thus the silliness begins, bizarre and a touch corny.

He leads his faithful compatriot Captain Jangles (Sara-Jane McGeachy) and, curiously, a German female soldier, Rita von Schultz (Wendy Brindle), on the dangerous quest into the unknown. The action flows along as they encounter a dinosaur and an earthquake. Do they succeed or is their expedition to be an example of glorious failure? In many comedies, there can be predictability about the ending but in this case the final scene is wonderfully novel and very funny. Credit is due to the whole cast and the technical crew for a polished performance.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number – Augustines; V152

Dates – 9 to 15 August 2010

Times – 19.55 to 20.40

Fringe Programme Page Number: 234


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