Oran Mor, Glasgow ***
Under the direction of Liz Carruthers – herself hitting a personal best with her 25th show for A Play, a Pie and a Pint – Croft presents his research material as an illustrated lecture complete with slides, archive film footage and a manikin ready to be smothered in grease.
Better known as the artistic director of Nottingham Playhouse, Croft approaches it like the one-person shows popularised by Jenna Watt, Rob Drummond and Kieran Hurley in which the storyteller is as present as the story’s subject. In this case, the connections aren’t always apparent – it’s not clear what Croft’s collection of guitars has got to do with endurance swimming – even if his decision to make his debut as a musician adds to the show’s quirky charm.
Indeed, it’s the unassuming homeliness of Channeling Jabez that makes it enjoyable – that and its litany of nearly successful record-breaking attempts that keep the audience cheering him on to the finishing line.
Oran Mor, today; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 11–15 April