Theatre review: Raiders – The Whisky Trader
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Raiders – The Whisky Trader at Spotlites @ the Merchants’ Hall (Venue 278), reviewed at David Pollock
On the subject of whisky, maybe a wee one wouldn’t go amiss before you submit to the madcap joys of this South African historical comedy. Tracing a sea voyage from Scotland to the eastern Cape of Africa in the days of pioneers and traders, any attempt at historical accuracy or chronicling the journey of the grain is soon foregone in favour of some plentiful knockabout audience participation.
Despite that description, it’s not a show to be feared – in fact, if everyone in the audience is on the same page there is potentially a lot of fun to be had.
A two-hander, notwithstanding all the special guests pulled from the front row, the show is propelled by the majestic twin comic talents of comedian Nicholas Ellenbogen, a gentleman possessed of a classical actor’s bearing which lends him a dignified deadpan, and Ella Gabriel, a performer with a depth of physical and emotional intensity that seems out of keeping with the lightness of the material. Yet the format requires confidence and ability, as Gabriel throws a poor man selected to be her “husband” around the stage or Ellenbogen orchestrates an ad-hoc six-way country dance between strangers. Excuse the bad puns and get into the spirit of things, for it will increase everyone’s enjoyment substantially.
Until 20 August. Today 3:30pm
More info: Raiders – The Whisky Trader at Spotlites @ the Merchants’ Hall
Originally published in The Scotsman