Theatre review: My Village and Other Aliens
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: My Village and Other Aliens at Zoo Southside (Venue 82), reviewed by David Pollock
Novelist, biographer, musician and Independent newspaper columnist Terence Blacker seems to be one of those polymath older gents who is serenely comfortable in his ability to turn his hand to whatever intellectual task presents itself. Yet his solo Fringe show applies his many talents to the most seemingly mundane of situations: his own home surroundings in a leafy Middle England village of the sort that’s famous because “Virginia Woolf once went for a cycle ride nearby”.
Wearing brown sandals and a red cravat, there is something of the bohemian about Blacker, and he tells his story in warm, measured tones: about his village nemesis, Pervy John, who gazes in his living room window; Harry, whose porn addiction is coming out in the wash; and the type of friends who go to France to read their Daily Express “by the piscine”. It’s not a selection of vignettes which follow an urgent overarching narrative, but these interconnected stories and observations capably capture the sense of curtain-twitching community in a well-to-do English village.
Throughout, the literary references spread amidst Blacker’s speech juxtapose themselves with a bunch of Richard Digance-like comedy songs which hit their peak with the self-deprecatingly amusing finale, Sad Old Bastards with Guitars.
MORE INFO: My Village and Other Aliens at Zoo Southside (Venue 82), 5:30pm until 26 August
Originally published in The Scotsman