Theatre review: Stack

editorial image
0
Have your say

Stackard “Stack” Banks is a globally adored explorer and documentary-maker in the Bear Grylls mode.

Rating: ***

Venue: Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49)

That is to say, he’s a swaggering, self-obsessed buffoon. He’s also a serial philanderer, at which point – lest we incur legal action – I should point out that he’s only partially reminiscent of Grylls. He is, after all, a fictional character played by comic actor Ed MacArthur.

Stack recently took a life-changing trip down the ­Amazon to “rescue” a remote tribe, during which he was thrilled to discover even more about himself. Despite having only ever seen one film, The Bourne Ultimatum, and a matinee performance of Les ­Miserables, Stack has expanded his limitless talents by writing a (more or less) one-man play about the ­experience.

Peppered with daft/­clever jokes, energetic musical numbers and ­astonishingly pretentious interview quotes from Sting, it’s a fairly entertaining raft of nonsense anchored by MacArthur’s Will Ferrell-esque ­physicality.

It peters out in the third act, when the purposefully silly plot takes precedence. Stack, by definition, is a one-dimensional character, so the laughs recede once his narcissism has been established.This likeable idiot lacks the richness of self-serving star creations such as Alan Partridge and Garth Merenghi, to whom he’s indebted.

• Until 28 August. Today 8pm

Click here for more reviews from the Edinburgh Festival

Back to the top of the page