REVIEW: Russian Roulette (Hounslow Arts Centre) ★★★★★

A new format has come to town. One big wheel of shows. One roulette wheel. One tombola… and pure chaos.

In Edinburgh, there will be three Russian plays on the wheel but for the sake of the preview the seagull was pre-chosen. However, the madness was not. On every ball in the tombola there is a number, representing a minute in the show and 12 of these are pulled out by our charismatic hosts Sullivan Brown and Will Seaward. When that minute arrives, a siren is sounded and the rou-lette wheel is spun, offering a chaotic event. Land on 7 and Napoleon arrives to conquer Russia. Land on 39 and Pussy Riot appears (aka Jonathan Ashby in a silver leotard dancing a very moving Cats dream ballet).

It is interesting experiencing something new made of something old but it works fantastically. Do not be put off if you don’t know Russian literature particularly well, the fantastic thing about the show is not only are you led through the show by the hosts, but there is so much changed because of the game show element you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the show. That being said, if you are a fan of Russian Literature, go enjoy watching your favourite literary masterpieces being destroyed.

I was extremely impressed by the entire cast, especially as it was the preview. I can only imagine the show will go from strength to strength, and what is so fantastic is you could see it a hundred times and not a single show would be the same.

I have not laughed as much as I did in that hour since The Play That Goes Wrong. A new format of theatre has been born, an amazing cast is delivering it and I cannot wait to see how it grows. Hysterical, ridiculous but ultimately absolutely genius. A must see in Edinburgh and my pick of the fringe.

Reviewed by Penelope Davis


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