Theatre review: The Portable Dorothy Parker

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: 'Men seldom make passes/ At girls who wear glasses.' Just nine words give ­Dorothy Parker literary immortality. According to the New Yorker writer in this one-woman play by Annie Lux, the idea that these words would come to define Parker mortified her.

Gilded Balloon at Rose Street Theatre (Venue 76)

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The line was intended as a throwaway. We learn some of the ­nuggets of wit she preferred as Parker, ­taking a break from all those Algonquin Round Table lunches with the likes of ­ Noel ­Coward, helps an unseen, unheard young editor ­prepare 1944 anthology The Portable Dorothy Parker.

Many of her bons mots are, of course, brilliant. “Brevity is the soul of lingerie”; “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think” etc.

The problem is that despite Margot Avery’s excellent turn, the avalanche of dry zingers and witty ditties proves too much; the engine of contrivance is all too apparent. I felt I got to know the book, but not the woman behind the waspish words.

Until 28 August. Today 4pm.