Theatre review: On the Beach by John Osborne
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: On the Beach by John Osborne at Pleasance Dome (Venue 23), reviewed by Susan Mansfield
John Osborne, the writer and performer behind the 2011 hit John Peel’s Shed, makes a welcome return to the Fringe with a paean to the British seaside.
Osborne is a fine observer of people and laces his observations with imagination: the family of five playing cricket together, the man sitting cross-legged staring out to sea, the teenage buskers, the skiving office workers – all of these come vividly to life. Then there are the memories of summer holidays past, and the present-day connections.
There is plenty of lovely writing here, and a smattering of wry observations of modern life, but the piece lacks enough of a narrative to drive it forward theatrically.
Lacking pace and variety, and compounded by Osborne’s unvarying delivery, it plods along much like a walk in bare feet on sand, pleasant enough but in no hurry to get anywhere.
Until 26 August.
Originally published in The Scotsman