FRINGE COMEDY – Mark Twain Tonight – Buckingham Arms – 2K

By Peter Maddern

The 19th century produced a wide array of writers – poets, philosophers, playwrights and the like – on both sides of the Atlantic who not only captured the mood in their societies but who’s observations have withstood the test of time. One can think of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw and, of course, the subject of this show, Mark Twain.

Whether his thoughts and writings can constitute comedy is open for debate but unfortunately this relaying of the great man’s thoughts didn’t work or do him justice.

One of the things that separated out these big mouths was their brashness and their views of the world which were mostly formed and promulgated by the end of their 30s or 40s. By presenting Twain as an old withered man, this reviewer thought the brilliance of the younger man was lost.

Whatever one’s view of that, when one reflects that the four most famous quips of Twain as rated by Mr Wikipedia didn’t make it to this show, truncated to just 25 minutes, it is hard to conclude this show nailed his subject or his target audience.

Kryztoff Rating  2K

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