Clever show minds the gap


Shon Dale-Jones has created a show about home and friendship. Picture: Jamie Gramston
Shon Dale-Jones has created a show about home and friendship. Picture: Jamie Gramston

Me And Robin Hood

Pleasance Dome (Venue 23)


Shon Dale-Jones, the ­creator of last year’s Fringe First-winning The Duke (which he reprises this year) is back with another solo show which blends fact and ­fiction and questions the role of money in our world. (As with The Duke, the show raises money for street kids ­charities.)

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It opens with Dale-Jones worrying about his mortgage while on a train to do a gig where, he has calculated, he will make absolutely nothing. Cut to him aged seven, glued to the box for the highlight of his week, The Legend Of Robin Hood, while his father and grandmother argue: she a traditional Labour ­supporter, he a Thatcher ­voter in the making.

He has captured, brilliantly, the moment at which the gap between rich and poor starts to widen in post-war Britain.

Even as he grows up and is urged to take responsibility for himself, the Tory government is pushing the idea on a national scale. But what of his childhood hero? What would Robin Hood’s brand of justice look like today?

Whether Dale-Jones threatens to rob a bank and gets arrested, whether he sells his home and gives the money to street kids, or partakes in some weekend safe-breaking with the Llangefni under-11s football team in tow, we’ll never know, so adept is he at splicing together ­personal experience and flights of fancy.

Indeed, if the show has a fault, it would be in offering so many of these possibilities that, by the end, we are in danger of feeling a little ­confused.

But Me And Robin Hood is clever and thoughtful and angry. It’s about home and friendship and memory and what artistic work is worth, and at its heart is a very real question about what it means to be a true radical in the 21st century.

Susan Mansfield

Until 27 August. Today 4pm.