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Fringe Review: I Spy With My Little Eye Something Beginning With Why Have You Been Sleeping With My Wife @ Pleasance Dome

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Imagine Alan Partridge meets the awful school plays your parents were forced to attend throughout your primary school years. Except, they’re actually allowed to laugh at the absolute car crash direction and stiff line reading. Now, you’re somewhere near the utter hilarity of I Spy With My Little Eye Something Beginning With Why Have You Been Sleeping With My Wife.

(Photo: Edward Moore)

Rob Carter’s alter ego Christopher Bliss shuffles onto the stage in his signature blue shell suit jacket, off white trousers and greasy middle parting. Bliss, a ‘novelist’ from Shropshire, warms the crowd up with an intimate reading of his latest smutty novel. Following last year’s acclaimed Fringe run, the cult character sets his sight on new creative avenues, inviting both of his friends; the quiet lady next door and the one-time-village-thespian to join him.

The result: a play about post office owner who must regain control of his life, wife and reputation in the aftermath of the death of his best friend. The show is ripe with comic tropes as Bliss and friends run through all the roles between them script in hand, forcefully reciting Bliss’s appropriately dire narrative. It is this and the necessity that one of the main characters must ‘go to the toilet’ to introduce another that adds the real humour here.

Pushing the pantomime leanings of his theatrical ‘masterpiece’, Bliss encourages the audience to participate in the ‘worst villager’ competition and to assign a catch phrase for a major character, though his own “ruddy hell” goes down a treat.

Whilst Bliss’s world view is heavily demonstrated by the farcical play, in terms of characterisation, if time allowed, seeing more development of his character may have been more effective. Nonetheless, #ISWMLESBWWHYBSWML proved to be a fantastic laugh-a-minute hour which hit all the right notes of audience interaction and cringe-worthy moments.

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Catch I Spy With My Little Eye Something Beginning With Why Have You Been Sleeping With My Wife: A Play by Christopher Bliss at Pleasance Dome, 7pm 1-26th August (not 25th). Tickets available here.

This article is part of our coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Click here to read other articles written by our contributors. 
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