Edinburgh Fringe Review – Will Adamsdale: Borders

It’s not often I go into a show not knowing what to expect yet at the same time carry such high-expectations. Will Adamsdale a name completely unknown to me yet his name carries the prestige of being a Perrier Award Winner. So although going in blind, I had fairly high expectations. As Will takes to the stage and takes ownership of the seat on stage, his mouth opens and pretty much stays open for the next hour. The opening segments deconstructs his award-winning middle-class self with a decree of self-depreciation and what he has been doing over the past few years until he eventually approaches the concept and title of the show, Borders.

What’s apparent at first is there is a charm and wondrous playful nature to the output of wordage he churns out. Whilst initially my ears felt wilfully submitted to his oration, that level of heightened expectation was still bothering me and that the many comedy shows that I had been to so far this year had made me laugh significantly more.

As Will delves further into the themes, nature and meaning of the terms Borders, how as humans come to understand it, it morphs into a somewhat cultural studies lecture presented by your favourite tutor who probably had magic mushrooms and ecstasy for breakfast. The show takes off in a multitude of directions; complimented with singing and a critical deconstruction of the lyrics from Oasis and Bruce Springsteen songs, a messy white-board come projector and the search for a lost world of animated characters from a bank advert. Whilst this might sound like a show that is everywhere, it’s all intrinsically connected.

Maybe purposefully ironic, Borders as a show transcends between stand-up, spoken word and perhaps theatre. As the show builds in scale with both laughter and existential investigative meanderings that climax with a whimsical, almost Charlie Kaufman-esque mind-farce, which eventually makes me realise there is a firm unique genius deserving of such prestige. A firmly enjoyable hour.


Chris Aitken



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