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ABSOLUT Fringe Fest

Nutshell review: Man of Valour

Every day, brings you reader-generated reviews of the hottest tickets at the ABSOLUT Fringe Festival 2011.

New reader-review posted on 12 Sep, 09.03am

THE ABSOLUT FRINGE 2011 has over 100 shows playing out across Dublin until 25 September. Each day, will bring you our readers’ reviews of the pick of the crop and everything in between. You’ll get the chance to get in on the act yourself with our daily reader review tickets giveaway!

Today’s review:

Man of Valour

(The Corn Exchange company, starring Paul Reid)

Jemma Curran’s review: One-man shows are one of the hardest forms of theatre to pull off. Even with an amazing script and a fantastic director, the pressure of keeping the audience’s attention ultimately rests on the performer’s shoulders. Paul Reid made it look easy.

Reid’s portrayal of everyman Farrell Blinks is superb, but it is how he fluidly moves into playing the other characters in Farrell’s life (and mind) that is truly jaw-dropping. Each character has a completely different voice and physicality, and feels totally real.

The comedic elements will have you laughing until your sides are sore, but it’s the quieter parts that are the most thought-provoking and really stay with you after the show is over.

The use of lighting in the play was one of the best I’ve ever seen. The soundtrack compliments what is happening on stage perfectly. The direction was flawless. One of the best shows you’ll ever see!

In three words? An ABSOLUT must! (Or, Exhilirating. Side-splitting. Poignant.)

Susan Daly’s review: Some people will be drawn to this play because they recognise actor Paul Reid as the affable Dylan from TV drama RAW. Well, they won’t recognise him in this – but they won’t be disappointed by that fact. For 90 exhilarating, frenetic minutes, Reid slips in and out of the skin of the range of characters who populate the real (and fantasy) worlds of office worker Farrell Blinks as he battles his demons.

There are no eye-popping special effects, no wigs or trick mirrors – Reid achieves it through a cocktail of physical comedy, brilliant mimicry, incredibly clever use of lighting and an inventive soundtrack. One word of warning to mascara-wearers: put on the waterproof stuff. You’ll swing wildly between sobs and guffaws – there WILL be tears of some description. The best one-man show I’ve seen for years.

In three words? Cinematic. Mesmerising. Hilarious.

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