Duddingston Kirk may be slightly further afield than some of the more central Fringe venues but the performances here presented are worth the journey. Consisting of two of Chekhov’s short compositions, The Bear and the comedic monologue Thank You for Smoking, in the marquee outside, the production is unpretentious and genuine, focusing on the actors’ abilities and the script. The intimate setting allows for a very personal performance, one that the audience feels they are directly a part of and can truly appreciate.Thank You for Smoking is the speech given by a downtrodden husband to the graduating class at his terrifying wife’s finishing school. Through the fantastic characterisation the blustery tent is transformed into a school with ease. Somehow the grumpy, depressed man becomes likeable. He leaves you wishing the scene were longer, you simply want to keep watching him. Though it may seem callous, as he details the various aspects of his wasted life the audience can’t stop laughing. The material is delivered to maximum effect, getting everything possible out of the scene.The second half of the production is one-act play The Bear, a tale of an overly enthusiastic grieving widow and a man trying to collect his debt from her. The subtle humor of the situation is brilliantly conveyed. The levels achieved between grieving widow and anger that borders on insanity heighten the comedy. Whilst the script may occasionally seem slightly ridiculous, the emotion is so authentically conveyed it is all entirely believable. The actors play off of one another creating the chemistry that makes this production so enjoyable.

Reviews by Nicole Adam

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

These two farcical vaudevilles are part of the company's Russian season. 'Smoking is Bad For You', a comic monologue of cringe worthy amusement, whist 'The Bear' portrays self-seeking indulgence. Both, played under canvas, are a joy to behold.

Most Popular See More

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets