Thursday, 7 April 2011

Busy Night - Edinburgh Fringe 2007

Busy Night
3 stars
Late night cabbies have it tough. Writer/performer Simon Goodall may be no Robert De Niro, but his real life extrapolation of life behind the wheel is enough to make you want to steer well and truly clear of the mean streets he drives down. A roll-call of Polish drunks, incontinent old ladies who once rode stallions in Wild West shows, runaway chavs, obsessive compulsives and other back-seat drivers with a story to tell all hail him down. The South African dentist and would-be impressionist gives away Goodall’s top light entertainment aspirations, as each character resembles a caricature from 1970s showbiz relic Dick Emery or the similarly styled Fast Show.

Goodall may not be as funny as either, though the novelty here is how he uses sound. With an accomplice recording his impressions of the sounds of the street are amplified and recorded by a laptop-wielding accomplice sitting side-stage, then looped and manipulated to make up a dense collage of city life. Whizzing cars and sirens are one thing, but the firework display and busy farmyard beats any human beatbox. If it occasionally distracts from the piece’s more serious points, the sting in the tale will almost certainly make you risk he night bus.

The Herald, August 2007


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