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Edinburgh Fringe 2010

Diary of a Sentimental Killer

Gianpiero Borgia

Genre: Mainstream Theatre

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard


Low Down

The inner workings of a cold hearted killer fascinates us all and in the piece of theatre we are allowed the luxury of exposure to an anonymous hitman.


This one man show, written by Luis Sepulveda, is brilliantly executed by the charismatic Gianpiero Borgia. From the moment the lights go down we are bewitched by his monologue. He weaves a tantalising tale of romance, passion, heartbreak and the pursuit of perfectionism.
From the onset he make us aware of the code. The code, known to all hitmen, is never to become attached. So no-one is more surprised than the killer himself when he finds himself smitten, willingly to a young vibrant woman. He refers to himself often as “ a killer with a missus”, and becomes amusingly domesticated whilst hiding his career. Cleverly written, Borgia twinkles at us, painting imaginative pictures that have you travelling from Paris to Mexico. You can almost here the hubbub of a busy airport as he moves internationally, executing by request. Within the small intimate theatre, we travel quickly without the disruption of getting out of our seats. Having established our relationship with him, the narrative develops. On a hit, which he expects to run smoothly, the hitman is suddenly placed in an unusual position. His “French Fox” of a girlfriend dumps him. He is then faced with trying to maintain his professional approach to life and complete the hit whilst dealing with the strange emotional instability of heartbreak and rejection.
What ensues is a darkly comic caper that finds him dealing with crises of confidence exactly at the moments when he needs to be in control. A poor attempt to get drunk and pull himself together is thwarted as he experiences the inconvenience of uncontrollable sobbing. Any calls made by his ex girlfriend immediately confuse him and render him useless. The tale twists and turns and Borgia has the audience on the edge of their seats when he becomes embroiled in a violent exchange with thugs. He then lifts the pace with a surprise intervention that has you guessing to the end.
This is a tough piece of theatre, reliant on very few props, simple lighting, a solitary chair and excerpts of beguiling music that underline the dialogue. The English language is beautiful but never more so when spoken with Borgia’s accent. He copes admirably with the mercurial text, placing emphasis on words that make the language sing. In excited pieces of dialogue he is a maestro showing confident command of crescendo, pace and delivery. The play fascinates because of the added insight into the male mind when in pursuit of unrequited love. He reveals dark thoughts of utter despair when he tries to free his mind from sentimentality and his inner struggle to eradicate weakness.

Stuck at the back of the Pleasance you could almost miss this show. It will appeal to fans of the hit tv  series Dexter who like a dialogue with a good twist. This killer is sophisticated, likes a good wine and beautiful things. His appreciation of his girlfriend and what she brings to his life show that he can care and be delighted by trivia and therefore when he reverts back to his psychotic nature it is all the more intriguing.