August 20, 2013  //  By:   //  Edinburgh, Reviews  //  Comments are off

Rating ****
Reviewed by Alex Foott

PIT & New Diorama Theatre
Written and directed by David Byrne
Performance date – Fri 16th Aug 2013

The Edinburgh Fringe is infested with enterprising young theatre companies, parading their dewy-eyed casts before the masses in a rather meagre attempt at taking the festival by storm. Needless to say, not all of them are successful in their endeavours. This, however, is not the case for PIT. Though young, they are by no means juvenile in their creativity, poise and sheer command of the stage. Writer David Byrne’s vision is so concrete that we find ourselves utterly transported to a wonderful surreality where the living converse with the dead with inexplicable ease. The cast are rather wonderful in their various contributions to the portrayal of one man’s spirit, creating a jovial and carefree atmosphere that encourages us to suspend belief for the sake of an hour of good theatre.

Kubrick³ tells the true story of Alan Conway, a deliciously mischievous man who decided in the early 1990s to impersonate film director Stanley Kubrick with the sole intention of improving his quality of life. Despite the pair’s obvious physical differences, Conway was largely successful in his masquerade, fooling many and temporarily achieving his goal. PIT employ the charmingly original medium of a posthumous conversation between Conway and his son. This cleverly permits them to warp reality and exaggerate this compulsive liar. Throughout the dialogue, Conway constructs several elaborate lies to try and gain his son’s sympathy. Unfortunately for him, they are all quickly exposed as fiction and he is soundly vilified.

The cast are outstanding in their unified approach to this almost unbelievable tale, maintaining high energy and brilliant comic timing that is wholly appropriate for the farce. With four actors simultaneously portraying Conway, the audience get a sense of his erratic and impetuous nature. The quartet are excellent at blending their lines and feed their individual energies into the one role, while Andy McLeod provides the perfect foil as Conway’s no-nonsense son. Particular praise goes to Leah Milner whose combination of rigid physicality and vocal gymnastics are endlessly funny. She sporadically injects the piece with electric spikes of energy, inducing waves of appreciative laughter from the audience.

Despite the commendable efforts of the cast, the undeniable star of Kubrick³ is Byrne’s script. Fast paced and bewilderingly riotous, it is dotted with daft puns and the strangely endearing humour of a filthy old man. Maintaining a perfect balance of satire and admiration, PIT makes a triumphantly lasting impression. The epitome of promising new talent.