The Beau Zeaux **** 4 Stars
Pleasance Courtyard 17.45
The Japanese have a philosophy of three faces. The face one shows to the public, the face one shows to friends and family, and the face you have personally (cheeky Oxford comma there – Nice). This last face is the face that you try to suppress, the face that conjures your darkest thoughts therefore your most honest face. It is this face that is the most pure and truthful. Performing allows the creator to show this face if the writing allows her…that’s why Philip Seymour Hoffman, Heath Ledger or Daniel Day Lewis are and were so bloody good. They showed the audience what the character would actually do if they were faced with the pressure of a certain situation.
The Beau Zeaux’s are all brilliant performers. They let the audience into their minds and show them with their bodies how quick a thought process can be, should the right offer come along. That’s what improv does. The quicker the reaction and the more truthful the response, the funnier it is.
Thom Tuck, Rachel Parris, Marcus Brigstocke, Brendan Murphy and narrated by Deborah Francis White (The Spontaneity Shop and author of The Improv Handbook) have all been working individually individually for years and together individually for many more. They know each other well enough on stage to trust the other completely and say yes to an offer of another. There is also a rotating cast which includes Pippa Evans, Ed Coleman and Milly Thomas.
The show itself, that I witnessed yesterday, was a great but tired one. Edinburgh is the best place in the world retrospectively but fuck it it’s tiring and stressful when you are here. Evans asked me if I had a show up here for the full run, I said Yes, and she then replied he is too tired to plug his own show. So honest but so true.
They ask the audience for a setting and create three different story-lines and plots around it in the hour allowed. One was a husband and wife (Tuck and Murphy), one was a German couple (Brigstocke and Parris) and the third was an elderly man who came out to his two gay friends. Each story was developed in scenes and became quite moving as well as hilarious.
Ordinarily I would give this show a 5 Star, but I saw it on an off day I think so it’s a 4.
All the performers are seasoned Edinburgh-ians and all have other shows here too. Brigstocke has two others, Tuck has one (which is supposed to be awesome) and I’m sure they are involved in as many other things as their PR staff allow them to be. Are they enjoying it honestly with their personal Japanese faces, I doubt it a lot… But they are in a bloody good show.
Tiger Paws Junior’s Stories 4 Stars