Black Comedy

Black Comedy is a farce by Peter Shaffer. The play was written in 1965 and this production looks and feels like a sit-com of that era.

The theme is deception. Brindsley is a struggling young sculptor who tries to impress the father of his bride-to-be and a wealthy art collector by borrowing (without permission) his neighbours antique furniture. The play starts in darkness while the dinner party arrangements are being made. It's only when there is a power cut that the theatre lights come on and Brindsley's plans start to unravel. From this point on the characters stumble around in darkness, but of course the audience can see all. Comic situations arise when unexpected visitors appear, identities become confused and the furniture is mysteriously switched in the dark.

Unfortunately the situation is never exploited to its full slapstick potential and the show only manages to raise a few laughs. The illusion of darkness is shattered by the actors stumbling unconvincingly around the stage and staring into the middle distance. James Dale works hard in the lead role and the actors playing the neighbours help to lighten things up but its not enough.

I can't imagine why anyone would bring this dull comedy to the Edinburgh Fringe.

Reviews by Bruce Kent

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The Blurb

Greenside, 7-12 Aug. 6.30pm (1 hour)

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