THEATRE / David Benedict On Theatre

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Indy Lifestyle Online
You're an unknown playwright and you're dreaming of fame. An inner voice urges you on: 'Forget the epic. Write a one-man show, kiddo. It's a whole heap cheaper'. Having settled the problem of form, there only remains the thorny question of content.

Some themes are less popular than others. Ponchos, Lacrosse, and Nesquik have suffered a not entirely surprising absence from the world's stage. There has yet to be a successful play set in a fishmonger's. Homer was the last writer to use embroidery as a box-office draw. You'd think that trainspotting would join this list of theatrical no-nos, but as Stephen Dinsdale discovered, this is the dawning of the age of the anorak.

The Life and Times of Gus Gascoigne, Trainspotter aka Anorak of Fire burst upon an unsuspecting public at last year's Edinburgh Festival. Its cult status powered a 200-performance West End run and it is now embarking upon a six-month UK tour.

Certain people have returned to the show armed with thermos, lunchbox, specs etc -but in much the same way that you don't have to be a mass murderer to appreciate Richard III, happy theatregoers have discovered that you don't need an obsessive nature and zero dress sense to enjoy James Holmes's performance of this 'thunderous comedy' (above). Victoria Wood's agent agreed and signed him up.

'Anorak of Fire' is at the Tricycle Theatre to 6 Aug. (Box Office: 071-328 1000)

(Photograph omitted)

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