After over 30 years in the business, impressionist legend Jon Culshaw finally debuts his one-man show at the Edinburgh Fringe. And, boy, it was worth the wait!
A reminder of what makes Edinburgh so special
As Culshaw walked out to the Crossroads theme, I’ll confess to being concerned I might be a decade or two below his target demographic. This was swiftly allayed by a whistlestop tour of the biggest names in (mostly) politics from the past three decades and I barely had to worry about lacking familiarity with his guises for the next hour.
As well as the expertly crafted voices, skits, and anecdotes, Culshaw also discusses the science behind vocal manipulation, explaining how he uses his body and voice to perform his subjects and various UK accents. Young thespians would find ample benefit in attending the show just for these insights.
Aside from giving performances from many of your musical, sporting, and political heroes (spot the oxymoron), Culshaw brings to life some random and unpredictable events. There's a gangster-rapping Gordon Brown, a Spiderman and Les Miserables mashup, and Shaggy’s shopping list. As Jon seamlessly transitioned from Arctic Monkeys to George Formby, it occurred to me there really is something for everyone.
Every impression is spot on, and the variety of ways in which the characters are presented means that the hour really flies by.
Seeing Culshaw live, up close, is a reminder of what makes Edinburgh Fringe so special. You can see the stars you’ve watched for years showing off the skills that took them to the top of their industry. This year at Edinburgh, you can also see Jon Culshaw playing Hughie Green in Lena at the Assembly George Square. And if that’s not enough Culshaw for you, check out our interview on Broadway Baby.