Garry Starr is back with a vengeance and sock-it-to-me comedy
Reviewed at Masonic Lodge - Gluttony on 15 February 2019
Presented by Damien Warren-Smith
Garry Starr is back! Damien Warren-Smith’s character, the ebullient actor with more opinions than stagecraft who brought Garry Starr Performs Everything to last year’s Fringe, presents a new array of theatrical verities. Amidst flurries of puns, audience participation and a skilfully layered script, the hapless Starr solemnly instructs us on the origins of theatre: “Acting was invented by the ancient Greeks. Before that, they were just pretending.”
Working from this flimsy Attic starting point, Warren-Smith rapidly develops the comedy into his specialised areas of physical, situational and absurdist. Although soundly based on good acting training and Ecole Philippe Gaulier specialisation, his style is becoming more idiosyncratically his in this piece. He still wears the skimpy white tights, Elizabethan ruff and black leather jacket, but they are simply his signature now. Comedy flows from his confident management of material, rapid audience rapport, innate sensitivity to the temperature and pressure within the room, and uninhibited little-kid spirit.
If you have ever wanted to know how to do a successful dance audition, how to adapt highbrow material for telly audiences, how to learn lines, how to transform physically and vocally for a role, and how to create an impenetrable fourth wall, this show is for you. Garry Starr shows us how. Come to think of it, any actor, at any stage of their career, will find it howlingly funny. And no, it’s not just for actors. Tonight’s GP audience loved the material, participated, volunteered, and generally had a whale of a time. Warren-Smith’s trademark halo of wildly curly hair, his mobile face, flexible body and excellent vocal work combine to make this very new show a worthy successor to “…Performs it all”. British Director Cal McCrystal has again helped Warren-Smith to craft a multi-layered comedic property which hits funny bones at all levels.
Whatever next? Garry Starr and the Philosopher’s Goblet? Garry Starr and the Fellowship of the Towers? There’s got to be a series in it!
Reviewed by Pat. H. Wilson
Venue: Gluttony – Masonic Lodge – Owl Room
Season: 15th Feb – 17th March 2019
Duration: 60 minutes