The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church
Written and performed by Daniel Kitson. Adelaide Town Hall
The promo piece in the Theatre section of the Fringe Guide suggested that this would be an interesting production, and it was, but it was nothing like what I expected. Was it theatre? Maybe – it was scripted – but it was also stand-up comedy and it appeared that that was what the diverse audience was expecting. However, trying to be both theatre and stand-up is fraught with danger. The performance was very funny on many occasions, but it also dragged on– almost interminably. It was overwritten. The fictitious subject matter was dark – about Kitson stumbling across and reading thousands of letters written by fictitious Gregory Church who was contemplating suicide, or was he? Kitson has a way with words, and his text is amongst the most sophisticated language I have heard in a stand-up routine for a long time. As a performer he is confident and relates well to his audience, and he walks the fine line between delivering set text and improvisation depending on audience reaction. Kitson clearly has a following – the cavernous Adelaide Town Hall was half full which makes for a sizeable audience, but fine theatre it was not.
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