Review – The Monster in the Hall – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe

Monday 15 August 2011

It’s one of those David Grieg things where you sit there and think I either like this or I don’t but I’m not sure. Could go either way.

Sadly it generally goes the wrong way.

A teenage girl is worried that social services will declare her father, who has MS, unfit to look after her and take her away from him. Four actors play all the characters – a social worker, a Scandinavian online friend of the father, a possibly gay school chum – and in between they all sing over-jolly songs, swing their arms and click their fingers.

The Whingers imagine that one could achieve the resulting effect by directing the actors to “Play it for six year olds” and occasionally shouting “More madcap!” although obviously there would have been more to it than that.

The actors are clearly talented and there are some highly enjoyable moments (notably a scene in a virtual world) but it over-ran by 15 minutes and we missed our next show which is unforgivable in the context of the Fringe where it’s not uncommon to allow as little as 15 minutes to race from one venue to another when scheduling.

And before you say “Why didn’t you walk out?”, it’s performed in the round and would have necessitated walking across the stage. Phil had done quite enough of that already, thank you very much.



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