Scott Mills: The Bjorn Identity
  • By Pete Shaw
  • |
  • 20th Aug 2010
  • |
  • ★★★★★

Emerging from the ‘fear cupboard’ for the climax of Radio 1’s one-man shows, Scott Mills chose to re-tell the Bourne Identity with an Abba twist in front of a packed-house last night. The anticipation was palpable, as if the shows that had come before were just the warm-up act. What there was of a budget had all been spent tonight. Consisting of live dialogue from Mills, and pre-recorded clips from the likes of Sarah Cox and others, the show was staged with the assistance of The One Who Doesn’t Speak and Boss Rob wearing oversized masks to bring all the characters Scott interacts with to life. It was all rather Pythonesque in it’s delivery, but kinda worked.The plot, if anyone was really following it, wound a similar path the the Matt Damon film, opening with a boat where fishermen Zane Lowe and Tim Westwood find amnesiac Mills in a 70’s catsuit and with the number of a safe deposit box implanted in his leg. Actually the plot just is The Bourne Identity, but with the characters replaced with Radio 1 famous faces (and, randomly, Howard from the Halifax ads), plus a liberal smattering of Abba tunes whenever the script allowed one to be shoehorned in. There was at lot of (exploited) opportunity for in-jokes and gags geared for Radio 1 listeners, and a few well-handled fluffs that went down well with the crowd. Whereas the other three shows presented by the Scott Mills crew this week could have potentially been knocked-up as a solo effort, Scott’s own show tonight had the smell of rehearsals and considerable endeavour to make happen. So who did the best job this week? The One Who Doesn’t Speak had me in fits on Monday. Nick Grimshaw has potentially found a new career in Stand Up following his Tuesday show. Beccy’s hard work paid off tremendously in her comedic tribute act on Wednesday, but I really have to hand the crown to Scott for tonight’s show. This was the act everything was building up to, and it worked tremendously well. I did try and award the first ever six-star review, but the software wouldn’t allow it. And now a personal bit of editorial thank-you for the guys at Radio 1. I’ve been involved with the Fringe for a good few years now, and have attended Fringe Society AGMs where they lament the diminishing interest London-based media have taken in Edinburgh over the years. Despite being the largest-by-far arts festival in the world, you’d be forgiven for not even knowing it was happening at all while sipping a latte on Frith Street. Indeed, it’s why independent publications like ThreeWeeks and Broadway Baby have so flourished at the Festival, because despite the unabated growth of the Fringe, the nationals have less and less resource to cover it.So the Scott Mills show has been an enormous force for good in letting the rest of the UK know that there’s something exciting happening up here every August, and that in between Glastonbury and Reading, perhaps a bit of comedy and culture is worth a look. Thank you Radio 1. Look forward to welcoming you back next year. And Scott, feel free to tell everyone you got six stars. It’s just a software glitch that can’t display it.

Reviews by Pete Shaw

Assembly George Square Studios

The House

★★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Grace Notes

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

The Jungle Book

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

A Midsummer Night's Dream

★★★★
Multiple Venues

A Spoonful Of Sherman

★★★★★
Pleasance Theatre

Assassins

★★★★

The Blurb

The second best ABBA themed musical you'll see this year!

After the surprise success of last year’s Scott Mills the Musical at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, BBC Radio 1 presenter Scott Mills and his team return with a new challenge…to create and perform their own one-man shows at this year’s festival.

Having had just a few weeks to come up with an idea, script and rehearse his show – and with a little help from BBC Radio 1 listeners along the way – Scott Mills returns to Edinburgh with his original one-man show The Bjorn Identity.

The Bjorn Identity will see Scott singing, acting and dancing his way through his own reworking of the Bourne Trilogy set to the music of ABBA, with a few familiar faces and voices popping up to help - or hinder - him…