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Adelaide Fringe 2015

Anatole De Latour – The Singing French Detective

Clayton Sinclair

Genre: Mainstream Theatre

Venue: The Soul Box – 252 Hindley Street, Adelaide


Low Down

Eccentric Interpol detective, Anatole De Latour is desperate to solve the one case that has haunted him for years. Working undercover on the Paris Metro he narrates his story through a mix of musical and storytelling brilliance. 


Anatole de Latour is an exuberant character with a cheerful disposition. He is only too pleased to welcome tourists (the audience) to Paris and tell them his story. Through song and dialogue he tells the audience about why he’s pretending to busk at a Metro station. His story starts as a young boy growing up in Brittany in a strict religious village. After running away to Paris he meets the beautiful Jacqueline, falls in love with her, joins the Bon Gendarmerie, and taps into his psychic abilities, which leads to a job at Interpol. But his life isn’t always as rosy and when things go inexplicably wrong his world shatters.

Although the story takes a while to gain momentum Clayton Sinclair displays immense talent as Anatole de Latour—his portrayal of the character is exceptional and every song enthralled the audience. I’m not sure if the brief interval after the first part of the story is meant to signify a passing of time or indicate a change in scenery, but the second part of the story is more engaging and interesting as this is the part where Anatole displays his psychic ability. There were obvious shades of anachronism in the story—the soundtrack and costumes indicated that the story took place in the 1950s, but then there are references to modern devices such as camera phones, which leads to further inconsistencies and unanswered questions and possibilities when he tries to solve the mystery. Despite this the story is quirky and suits the eclectic Frenchman.

The small stage, intimate venue and humble set ensure that the audience is focused on Sinclair the entire time. His talent carries the production and the audience responded with laughter and chuckles to all of his quips and jibes. Overall, this was an enjoyable show that is highly recommended.