The World According to Bertie

5 Stars

*****

This adaptation of Alexander McCall Smith’s novel by Lydia Bruce and Sandy Burns is simply a delight in the humorous way it reveals facets of modern life in Edinburgh. The staging of the play in a circular layout is unusual and novel. At the centre is the 6 year old Bertie’s bedroom. This is surrounded by the audience sitting on pink stools. Next is a corridor of open space where street scenes can be played out. Finally, there are five staged areas representing inside locations. The audience swivel around to follow the action.

Under the direction of Warren Hooper, a particularly strong cast of 11 performers bring to life a whole variety of characters, both young and old. The layout of the auditorium allows several stories to run concurrently. At the heart of the play is the life of the Pollock family and of course Bertie (Clark Devlin). He is such a lovable character with his observations, hopes and regard for telling the truth. The tensions between his control freak of a mother (Rachel Ogilvie) and put upon father (Jack Reid) produce hilariously funny situations.

I have no doubt that this premiere staging of Alexander McCall Smith’s novel will prove a most popular venture. During the play’s run, it is staged twice daily. Since there are limited spaces available due to the seating arrangement and since each seat was occupied, my advice would be to book early.

Reviewed by Ben

C soco, Chambers St: 348

4 to 29 August 2011 (not 15)

19.20 – 20.40; 21.00 – 22.20

Fringe Programme Page Number: 312

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