FRINGE THEATRE – The Professor – The Bakehouse – 3K

By Peter Maddern

Bob Paisley is a University professor who arrives at class and reveals that he intends changing the usual single topic lecture to one spanning all of western culture and his great new discovery. Dressed in fawn jacket and matching corduroy pants he is the archetypal Don, combining effusive enthusiasm for minutiae with absent mindedness that can drive you crazy.

The lecture starts off seemingly all together but as time it goes on it descends into farce, with its semi-finale delivered with fulsome amounts of phlegm and wind.

As good as Paisley is, his material from Brian Parks lacks edge. We may sweep through western culture, from the discovery of pi to the beauty of Bach, but the anecdotes around them are more  contributions than the  dollops of the humour required in a Fringe like this. Indeed Messrs Bach and Mozart are reduced to about eight seconds each and little else. There were times this reviewer was reminded of Robin Williams triumphs of teaching in Dead Poets Society but nothing here felt comparable.

As much as western culture may be under attack these days by friends of this type of professor, it is hardly defended by The Professor; all its breadth and depth, beauty and beat offer more moments of impact that this hour delivered.

Kryztoff Rat  ing            3K

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