Humphrey Ker Is Dymock Watson: Nazi Smasher!, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
Friday 12 August 2011
This is an enormously likeable and accomplished hour from Humphrey Ker, better known as one third – the tall, posh third – of sketch troupe the Penny Dreadfuls. In his debut solo show, Ker plays to his acting strengths, spinning a bonkers wartime yarn in which he plays a heavily accented array of characters from a Geordie killing machine to a Texan belle and a Romanian conjuror.
The hero of the piece is Dymock Watson, a Naval officer (and, it turns out, Ker's grandfather) who is parachuted into Romania on a secret mission in 1943. A rather ineffectual chap with a water bottle on his hip and a punnet of plums in his mouth, he has six days to save the world but rather inconveniently his allies keep getting killed off. It's rare to come across a character adventure in which the plot grips but with some James Bond thrills, knowing 21st-century touches and a little help from director Phillip Breen, Ker conjures up a vivid narrative landscape and plenty of laughs.
There's some beautiful writing here, glittering lines rapped out as fast as machine-gun fire. If anything, it's a little too fast. You want more time to savour delicious details like the body found "impaled on an MCC umbrella". A class act.
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