Theatre review: The Curse of Elizabeth Faulkner
Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: The Curse of Elizabeth Faulkner at Just the Tonic at the Caves (Venue 88), reviewed by David Pollock
Welcome to Thorndyke & Sons, struggling undertakers who have had everything repossessed by the bailiffs – even the front bit of their floor. All that is left are those pointless speakers at either side of the room … and with that meta-gag we get a strong indication of just how smart this spooky farce from the pen of writer Tim Downie is.
Oh, for a bout of smallpox to get business booming again, yearns old man Thorndyke, but all he gets is a request to dig up Elizabeth Faulkner’s grave and lay to rest a curse that has killed every one of her male descendants in their 33rd year.
It’s a knockabout and dryly amusing farce of the kind you would expect to find on prime-time Radio 4, kicked up a notch by four committed comedy performances from Neil Henry, Anil Desai, Harriette Sym and Josh Haberfield, as well as actor and writer Downie’s well-turned way with the amusing politeness of Victorian speech and his ear for a good punchline.
There are few deep belly laughs here, rather a sense that this is a smart comedy which cannily plays around with form and expectation while still bashing out the gags at a commendably high rate.
Originally published in The Scotsman