Monday, 17 August 2009


6/8/09, Royal Lyceum Theatre (Edinburgh Festival)

Australian version of Candide. Frank Woodley, one half of Lano and Woodley (and so an erstwhile Perrier winner) as Candide in a pierrot costume, interspersing the action with a front of curtain stand-up routine: very useful, because if he hadn't done you'd have had no idea what was going on (even having seen the opera twice I was stumped).

Modern pop songs, modern dress; the Lisbon earthquake became a plane crash and terrorist outrage (I think). There were air hostesses and wind fans. Plastic curtains were drawn across the stage to signify changes of scene, along with an illuminated sign up under the proscenium. The whole thing interspersed with great bleeding chunks of undigested Voltaire , especially the lady with one buttock's interminable monologue.

It was noisy, structureless, under-rehearsed, poorly-conceived , poorly acted and wouldn't have been great as a fringe show: for the International Festival it was definitely below par. Much rather have had an hour of Woodley, an engaging performer, doing stand-up.

A, D and I left at the half. S stayed and said it got no better.

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