Thursday, August 16, 2012

Collection of Reviews for As of 1.52pm GMT on Friday April 27th, This Show Has No Title

I have been collecting Where Once Were Wonder reviews since Daniel Kitson started to tour with that stand-up show.  Since it seems like readers have found that helpful, I decided to collect the reviews for Daniel Kitson's new theater show "As of 1.52pm GMT on Friday April 27th, This Show Has No Title."

EDINBURGH FRINGE


Exeunt Magazine reviewer Daniel B. Yates  describes the play as "a piece full of artistic self-excoriation and vertiginous auto-critique."  Yates notes that "And so instead of as before, segueing into sparkling comic moments, he has found a form in which his comedy can co-exist with and antagonise his storytelling."  Yates describes the play as "architecturally astounding."


Reviewer  for Culture Wars, Matt Trueman called the show a "brilliantly self-conscious corkscrew."  Describing the layers of the show, its "total knowingness" and the audience's own fanboy role in this work, he concludes it's "a total, unadulterated pleasure throughout."

Edinburgh Evening News says the show is "full of craft, momentum, invention and outright hilarity."


Blogger and reviewer John Murphy calls the play "clever, brilliantly written and spell-blindingly performed."

Edinburgh Guide gives the show five stars and notes "Daniel Kitson takes his audiences on journeys....but we frequently arrive at destinations that are very different from those we expected an hour or so before."  The positive review celebrates Kitson's achievement but finds it's "a nightmare to try and encapsulate their achievement afterward."

The Skinny gives the show five stars and concludes the show is about the "power of ideas" and finding it "mesmeric, moving."

Three Weeks Edinburgh also gives the show five stars saying it is "one of the most intelligent, self-aware pieces you’re likely to see."

The London Evening Standard gives it four stars and says that the show is "terrifically clever and frequently humorous, but it lacks that crucial component, heart."

The Independent gives it four stars and says "It's breathtaking stuff at times, if not for Kitson's structural shenanigans then for his wordplay and lyricism."

Chortle gives the show four stars and says Kitson "writes about the process of storytelling itself" finding it's "all very clever, meta-writing, which he revels in" but that it "comes at the cost of some emotional tug."

Joyce McMillan, theatre critic for The Scotsman gives the show four stars and notes that when Kitson "ventures into wheat he himself calls the solipsistic world of meta-theatre, everything in its unappealing territory turns to gold."  She calls Kitson's use of language "jokey, intimate, passionate, and so minutely perceptive."

Time Out gives the play four stars saying it is " a non-show about not being able to write a show which the comedian manages to pull off via a combination of charm, wit and sheer audacity."

The List gives the show four stars saying the work involves "pleasantly mind-bending, audience-writer-reviewer reflexivity, and more laughter than previous plays"  but "crying in the foyer afterwards is notable by its absence." Concluding however that the challenging format results in Kitson slam-dunking it again.

 Lyn Gardner at The Guardian gives it three stars finding that  "In other hands this might be rather dull, but Kitson is incapable of boring anyone" and calling it "astonishingly virtuoso."

Herald Scotland gives the show three stars and calls the show a "self-reflexive form of anti-theatre cum artistic suicide note."  He may have created something his fans will revel in but this reviewer concludes that Kitson "spectacularly fails to come up with anything for his new show."

Crystal Bennes for Spoonfed gives the show three stars (despite being the subject of an uncomfortable Kitson heckle) finding that the show "ends up being too much about the structural fireworks of the visible framework of a show" and it "feels as if it has nothing to say."  She says "Kitson is a talented performer with an intellect as sharp as a shard of glass" but wishes  he'd "written a theatrical narrative with an idea at the centre bigger than just himself."

Dominic Cavendish at The Telegraph gives the show two stars and calls it "elaborately empty entertainment a sorry waste of his undoubted talent– and our time."

Fest Magazine gives the show two stars and describes it as "bravura display of theatrical reflexivity, self-referential linguistic dexterity and post-modern delight in fiddling with dramatic convention."  But Evan Beswick complains that "just because Kitson knows this is self-absorbed, esoteric, showing off doesn't necessarily forgive its being so."


I will eventually add my own review.  I thought a 7 hour plane flight home would be enough time to write something up but after four days, many notes, and several drafts I'm struggling.  This is a work that defies quick analysis.  It's tumbling around my brain, bumping into things.  Hopefully soon I'll find the words.

UPDATE:  My review.  For what it's worth. It's like trying to stick a label on a needle.

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