Edinburgh Fringe 2016
Scott Turnbull lets his imagination and artistry blast off in this ripping tale of friendship and loneliness directed by Ed Gaughan.
How mad might you go if you were marooned on the moon? Probably as close to the edge as astronaut Darren Smith gets in this delightful live animation show by Scott Turnbull. Imagine a young Spike Milligan with the draftsmanship of Terry Gilliam, throw in a touch of Arthur C Clarke, and you will get an idea of the ambition and scope of Turnbull’s show.
At times he draws the audience and then sets up a notion of infinity by reproducing drawings within drawings. There is space in his telling too. Not for Turnbull the needy rush of his stand-up peers but instead a confident unfolding of his narrative. There are a good many laughs though – the fox cartoon being one of the highpoints – yet a haunting story of loneliness and friendship is what one takes away.
Turnbull is a terrific actor, inhabiting Smith’s world, or rather his moon station, with a confidence and tenderness that is highly affecting. The drawings appear throwaway, but there is economy and artistry here plus, as an added bonus, he gives the work to the audience at the end of the show.
The piece would be even more telling if the writing was as deft as the drawings, so a touch of editing would make it still stronger. However, the lighting, staging, tech and direction from Ed Gaughan were spot on – so the team is there and ready to lift off again. When Turnbull comes down to Earth I look forward to seeing where his vivid imagination takes us next. Be sure to buckle up.