Crowne Plaza (venue 39)
WHERE else to begin the story of a surrealist, than at the end? Salvador Dal is dead, "his putrefied body split apart, rent asunder by a mighty fart", his odyssey in art at a close. Thankfully, while the curtains have fallen on the great man, the fat lady has yet to sing. Presumably eager not to miss the opportunity of promoting himself at the Fringe, Dal will be granting a final audience from beyond the grave. This is that audience.
And you shouldn’t miss it. It is Andrew Dallmeyer’s Fringe First-winning play, starring Dr Who No7 Sylvester McCoy as the world-famous surrealist.
Travelling beyond the moustache to delve deep into one of history’s most fertile minds, Hello Dal is a window into a very strange soul. We hear how Dal loved snails, cherries, cauliflowers, crutches and hated grasshoppers. How he wanted to be a female cook at six, Napoleon at seven, and how he wet the bed until he was eight "just for the hell of it". How he loved crunching the skulls of small birds in his mouth, how a fart can be a diphthong and how we should all "examine our daily doo-doo". "Take me," says Dal, "I am a hallucinogenic." The monologue, energetically performed by McCoy despite the early loss of stick-on moustache, takes our education far beyond the absurd. We get an insight into Dal’s 1934 break with Breton’s surrealism movement, his love for his wife Gala and his loathing of Turner.
At a time when the Fringe’s favourite comics, from Ross Noble to Boothby Graffoe, delve deep into the subconscious for their gags, Dal remains as relevant to the Fringe today as he ever was. McCoy in a diving suit, speaking nonsense, is a worthy testament to his memory.
Runs until 24 August