2011 Edinburgh Fringe

Ed Reardon: A Writer's Burden review

Ed Reardon. Christopher Douglas

While the Pleasance Courtyard is awash with spunky young comics looking toward glittering careers on stage and screen, further back you'll find Ed Reardon, resplendent in make-no-effort loungewear and pondering a glittering past that might have been.

Not that Radio 4 freaks are bothered by the height of your haircut or the tightness of your trouser, and Ed has become quite a station stalwart in recent years. Christopher Douglas's creation is a sort of thinking-man's Al Murray, getting apoplectic about the dubious merits of modern novel-writing and the state of the nation's punctuation, for an audience who probably do exactly the same in a more reserved manner. Hey, he's just saying what we're all thinking.

This stage offshoot of Ed Reardon's Week is an autobiographical dawdle through the ups and downs of a lengthy literary career, from his dynamic years in the Martin Amis party set to financial ruin and a career resurgence due to the good people at Ladybird and numerous dubious celebrity tomes.

Reardon's one-man show is actually a three-hander, as he's joined onstage by a couple of thrusting young(ish) physical theatre types, a coming-together clearly destined to end in tears. Along the way there are some splendid literary barbs, a Jim Rosenthal joke (the veteran sports presenter features in so many shows this year, he may well be up for Best Newcomer), a bit of dancing, a tiny splash of sex and even a few gentle digs at The Pleasance.

Can the young bucks compete with that? Can they buggery.

Ed Reardon: A Writer's Burden listing

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