Jon Culshaw and Bill Dare: The Great British Take-Off

Bill Dare, Creator and Producer of BBC Radio 4’s Dead Ringers joins Dead Ringers performer and impressionist Jon Culshaw at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe for a one hour show that is packed with quality. Years of closely working together has led to a natural chemistry between the two and together they bring a show that is well-structured, refined and full of class.

Dare begins proceedings by introducing himself , then Culshaw who initiates audience interaction by having members shout out any high-profile personality they wish for him to impersonate including some that are en vogue such as “The Donald”. The show then moves towards the main plot line which is an interview style discussion of Culshaw’s career to date with Dare stepping into the role of interviewer. This double act is perfectly punctuated with high class impressionist work from Culshaw with Dare on top form steering the conversation to ensure it maintains its vibrancy.

Culshaw, gives an incredibly articulated performance with razor sharp wit weaved throughout his anecdotes and impressions with Dare as every bit as intelligent in the Interviewer role. Prepare for some involuntary laughter as some of the impressions are excellent, however, there are few of which are not as polished as other voice artists who cover the same personalities. Politicians are the primary focus for Culshaw with his main objective being to keep his impressions relevant which can be a complex task when considering how fast the world of current affairs can change.

Overall this is a solid performance from Culshaw and as expected there is very little to pick fault at, however, the conversation between Dare and Culshaw at times can feel a little too scripted rather than natural dialogue. As aforementioned, Culshaw can not always nail a voice as well as other artists but the dynamics between this double act mean that the audience are in for a top class Fringe show.


Graham Millar

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