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Published on Friday, 09 July 2010


Gilded Balloon Teviot (venue website)
4-30 Aug, 12:15pm (1:15pm)

It reads like a puff from reality TV: a gentle-giant former bin-ban wins fame across the country, with a raw and emotional performance coming straight from his heart.  But this is no manufactured sing-along; this is challenging, disturbing, often gut-wrenching theatre.  And Richard Fry really has got talent.

Richard Fry

Smiler, Fry’s latest one-man work, is the natural successor to his Fringe debut Bully – a fictional (though surely personal) account of coming out amidst a cycle of deprivation and pain.  This year’s script tackles a no-less-challenging subject – disability – and, as though that's not enough, drink-driving and assisted suicide find a place on the agenda too.

Too dark for lunchtime?  Maybe.  But both as writer and performer, Fry has a precious talent: the ability to lead us to the edge of despair, then suddenly tug us back again.  With a trademark style treading the boundary between acting and poetry, we’re expecting Fry’s latest monologue to hurt and heal in equal measure.  So if you saw Bully, we know you’ll want to see Smiler too; and if you didn’t, then it’s time to discover just what a former bin-man can do.

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