Saturday, 9 April 2011

The Human Computer - Edinburgh Fringe 2007

The Human Computer
Traverse 3@University Of Edinburgh Drill Hall
Neil Cooper
4 stars
When Will Adamsdale confesses that he only recently discovered the difference between the workings of Macs and PCs, every technophobic Luddite in the land will double click in solidarity. Because, as with his previous two solo shows, Jackson’s Way and The Receipt, in what might well prove to be his best work, he manages to tap into an absurd homespun wisdom while sticking up for every bewildered little man and woman who struggle through the daily grind.

In trademark baffled style, Adamsdale glides us first through the vagaries of the virtual global village via a glorious display of home-made crayoned-in cardboard cursors, pop-ups and a toolbar “advertising help but rarely offering it”, passing them among the audience in a truly back-to-basics interactive display of old-fashioned audience participation. This hand-knitted effect is heightened from Adamsdale’s entrance sporting what looks like a school fancy-dress TV screen on his head.

Once we’ve got the basics, we’re led through an auto-biographical request show before Adamsdale leap inside the computer on a fantastic voyage to take out the spider virus. It’s a flight of fancy both hilarious and heroic, as Adamsdale’s geeky persona masks a surreal, sci-fi inspired mind downloaded and made flesh in a brilliantly audacious fashion not seen since the first half of Anthony Neilson’s The Wonderful World Of Disoccia.

Until August 26, various times

The Herald, August 2007

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