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Edinburgh Fringe 2010

Slacker’s Guide to Western Theatre

Chris Payne Productions

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Venue: The Bedlam


Low Down

Written by Stephen Challens, we have a guide to the history of theatre from Ancient Greece to the present day. The method of historical attack is retrospective spoof and satire.


Rebecca White directs a cast of five young performers who throw plenty of energy into the performance right from the start, although we enter and they are already on the stage, reading books in easy chairs.
We’re taken through different historical chapters of the history of theatre and the performance standard is at his highest in scenes rather in direct addressing of the audience. Many of the set pieces have been well worked out and directed. For example, the Shakespeare episode is full of fun comedy, well realised and an example of the full on physical and vocal commitment the whole show needs to achieve. It is uneven in terms of performer and overall performance quality.
This is an example of a performance in which many of the actors, in their vocal delivery, are too close to their offstage persona. You can’t
expect high star reviews if your basic voice is not making use of the
minimal professional requirements of clarity, very tight physical
choreography and split second togetherness in voice and movement.
This is a fun and reasonably well written  production. I’m recommending it because it is wittily informative, enjoyable way to spend a late morning hour. There are plenty of laughs and witty one-liners. The cast work well together and the audience enjoyed the performed narrative. This has hints of Horrible Histories and is overflowing with an infectious enthusiasm with plenty of cleverly chosen historical observations.