Edinburgh Fringe 2022
The darkly hilarious and heart-wrenching story of a strange boy called Daniel Valentine, the ultimate superfan whose life has been devoted to his two favourite things, Jesus… and Jane. Daniel’s mother is a superfan too, but then one day her actions cause it all to go horribly wrong. Now, Daniel has returned to the family home. Is he back to seek revenge or heal old wounds?
Set in a smartly designed boarded up suburban house strewn with garbage bags, this hour-long examination of obsession takes the audience on an unexpected and ultimately tragic ride through the eyes of a self-assured and tortured young man. Always feeling a little “different” – no friends at school and a domineering mother – Daniel is forced to make his way through life armed only with his innocence and naivete.
The script, a slow drip of Daniel’s backstory, is deftly written by playwright Phillip Stokes, taking surprising turns and painting a disturbing portrait of a life derailed. Jack Stokes (in a tremendous Edinburgh debut) plays Daniel with a confidence and assured delivery that belies his youth. He throws himself into the character with charming elan, unafraid to take us on the journey that leaves us speechless. He displays all the vocal, physical and emotional tools one would expect in a well seasoned performer.
I was constantly surprised by this production. The writing, direction and design are top notch for a fringe show. The work is sharp, focused and the entire team should be commended for producing an unforgettable, edge of your seat 60 minutes
See this show. After three years without the Fringe, you’ll have restored faith in the power of live theatre.