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Home arrow Archive: EdFringe 2013 arrow Not the Messiah
Not the Messiah
Published on Tuesday, 18 June 2013


Pleasance Courtyard (venue website)
1-24 Aug, 1:00pm-2:00pm

 Recommended for age 12+ only.

Despite his role as the eponymous “naughty boy” in The Life Of Brian, the late Graham Chapman arguably remains the least-known of the Monty Python crew. In this one-man show – which impressed us on its debut run at the 2011 Buxton Fringe – the versatile George Telfer tells Chapman’s personal story, playing an array of characters to probe below the surface and deliver some true revelations for even the best-read of Python fans.

Telfer’s portrayal carries a great deal of sympathy, but never tries to mask its subject’s flaws.  Chapman’s alcoholism is an obvious focus, but that’s just one of a host of intriguing details: there’s his love of rugby and mountaineering, the fact he was gay before it was legal, his occasional selfishness and his courage too.  The famous sketches are name-checked, and there’s some Pythonesque surrealism built into the narrative; but there are also moments of profound sadness, which stand in stark contrast to the engaging humour.

In our five-star review from Buxton, we praised Telfer’s acting, accents and comic timing, alongside his moving treatment of the script’s darker side.  Penned by Fringe stalwart Tom Crawshaw – the author of previous highlights Play On Words and Auditorium – this play comes with a fine pedigree.  It’s been a while since we caught its last outing, but we’ve high hopes for another success in Edinburgh this year.

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