Comedy review: Colin Hoult – Characthorse
Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: Colin Hoult: Characthorse at Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), reviewed by Jay Richardson
Marvellously evoking the distortions and exaggerations of a child’s imagination, Colin Hoult has channelled his capacity to create weird, wonderful and grotesque characters into a fantastical narrative set in Snottingham, a mythical Narnia influenced by events that supposedly took place in his East Midlands upbringing.
Observed by actor Patrick Stewart, who is suffering from posture problems and periodically blurts “cover your bellies!”, Hoult’s adventure to find the Characthorse and avoid the terrifying Space Duck features a morose hitman doomed to kill those closest to him; aggressive, ostrich-riding Amazons; lap-dancing Transformers; Ringo Starr and a sinister villain whose horrible masks reveal the real thoughts of the audience.
Each fresh creation corresponds to some aspect of seven-year-old Hoult’s life, and it’s intriguing to ponder just how much genuine autobiography lies beneath. There are several enjoyable little set-pieces that he ushers the audience through and the action becomes wholly absorbing, propelling you deep into this strange world with him.
Unfortunately though, as with a child’s restless and cluttered creativity, there are rather too many characters and too much going on, and the ending descends into an incoherent bloodbath. Still, the abiding memory is of a joyously inventive romp.
MORE INFO: Colin Hoult is at Pleasance
Originally published in The Scotsman