Theatre review: The Presented, Laughing Horse @ The Place, Edinburgh

Have you seen Geoff Sobelle?

The Presented, Laughing Horse @ The Place

The Presented, Laughing Horse @ The Place, Edinburgh * * *

The famous theatre artist? He’s due to turn up any moment. He’s won every award in the festival. He’s the gold standard.

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The actor and writer Chris Davis is waiting for Geoff with his solo show The Presented. He works shit jobs to maintain his poverty the rest of the year. After six Fringes his stage kit fits into a single tattered back pack When he walks out with it, you’ll know the show is over. There’s a bay window here, and a bear. But this presented Chris you’re looking at - it’s not the real Chris. The real Chris would be watching baseball and getting drunk, not celebrating his idol, Adah Isaacs Menken, the 19th Century American actress who rode a live horse on stage, who spoke of being possessed of two souls.

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The Presented is a clever conceit, playing with concepts of performance, how good art makes bad debts. The bathos reminds me of the approach of Fringe stalwart David Calvitto. The production seems to have chosen the worst signed back room in central Edinburgh. Did he deliberately choose a place with the noisiest fan? Hire the staff to move tables outside the open door? Without a stage light to its name? For two people to walk, and reduce the audience of eight to one of six? Nice concept. It just needed to be better presented.

Until 25 August