Theatre review: The Oldest Man in Catford
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: The Oldest Man in Catford at New Town Theatre (Venue 7), reviewed by Susan Mansfield
Reg is 106, a cantankerous Alf Garnett-type with a liking for cake and a horror of the old people’s home. He stays at home in Catford, relying for day-to-day help on his great-granddaughter Julie, who is hoping to break into a career in journalism. When Reg decides he wants a trip to Margate, Julie finds out a few things about him which might give her the scoop of her life.
This two-hander by Ade Morris, the writer behind the acclaimed Fringe play Dust, looks a little lost on the vast main stage of the New Town Theatre. However, Stewart Howson and Alice Bernard quickly establish their characters: a lonely old man “waiting for the last bus, but the bus won’t come”; and the young woman who cares about and is frustrated by him in equal measure.
Howson gives a poignant and nuanced performance as Reg, particularly as he starts to reveal the secrets he has kept for 70 years. The trouble is that the big reveal takes rather too long to arrive, leaving the bulk of the play with little to sustain it but Reg and Julie’s good-natured bickering.
Until 25 August. Today 2:30pm
More info: The Oldest Man in Catford is at New Town Theatre
Originally published in The Scotsman