Edinburgh Fringe 2018
Sleek, funny, and impeccably timed, this “spirited” production is sure to delight.
A flash of silk, a hint of juniper, and the sights and sounds of New York are brought to life by the Misfits of London in this latest installment of the Gin Chronicles set in New York. With sparkling dialogue, witty wordplay, and a polished, stylized delivery, the Gin Chronicles hits all the hallmarks of the great radio shows of the 1940s, topped with an impressive display of rapid fire transitions from character to character, aided with little but a hat change and a facial gesture, which would satisfy any fan of The 39 Steps. Part audio play, part tribute, with a dash of true to taste advertising for Fentiman’s tonic and Tanqueray Gin every performance is accompanied with a welcome cocktail to set the mood.
Our two staunch detectives John Jobling and Doris GoLightly, while seemingly on holiday in the “picturesque” corner of New York known as Hell’s Kitchen are hot on the trail of a crime scheme that would damage the Gin market for years to come. There is the requisite culture clash as our New York tenement dwellers meet the cultured, London elites offered up with a lovely aperitif of New York flavor from the traditional city welcome, “Get out of the road,” to the Big Apple fire escape neighbors, swapping stories and meatball recipes.
This small but stellar cast of well healed and seasoned comic actors draw out plenty of laughs with quick, amusing banter, larger than life characters, and some truly clever sight gags, but it is the foley artist, the unsung and at times put upon hero of the piece who often steals the best laughs, often with a soundless response or gesture though I would have liked a bit more mic on his work and a sound table designed more readily for viewing because some of his artistry was lost to the audience. The script is playful, running the gambit from the sublime classic 40’s private dick New York crime story with all the gangster trimmings to the ridiculous, including a uniting of the New York eagles and the lesser known but apparently still prevalent parrots of New York.
Sharp, smart, and entirely enjoyable, this is not a life changing evening nor will it change the way you think about Gin and gangsters, or parrots and eaglettes, but if you want pure unadultered entertainment done spectacularly, the Gin Chronicles in New York really delivers. Cheers!