If you don’t like Star Wars or have never seen the Star Wars movies (the original trilogy beginning with ‘A New Hope’) you should probably stop reading now; this show is not for you. While most of the crowd watched Charles Ross perform his One Man Stars Trilogy at the Underbelly’s Cow Barn venue on Thursday night with wide grins and bouts of laughter, one or two sat perplexed and clearly wondering what Charles was doing. Well, as he said in a brief address after the show, this should have been blindingly obvious by the shows name.
For me, a casual Star Wars fan, I found this sold out show, which lasted 60 minutes, hilariously brilliant. It’s exactly what it says on the tin and Charles, a Canadian actor, wades through each trilogy in child like fashion - throwing himself around the stage, switching between characters with lightning speed and flying around the stage pretending to be a spaceship. It’s a pure, self indulgent and unconditional love of Star Wars that emits from Charles Ross while on stage.
For each episode Charles begins by humming the opening music and accompanying it with “there goes the yellow words describing the plot of the entire movie before”. My favourite condensed episode was ‘A New Hope’ where I was in stitches of laughter when he re-enacted the scene in the garbage receptacle, including writhing around on the floor when Luke was attacked and dragged under water. The conversation with C-3PO and R2-D2 (his brilliant electronic noise) was instantly recognisable and an instant high point of the whole show.
The re-enactments of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’ never reached the high points of the first episode, perhaps because the concept and methodology of this show were no longer brand new. However they were still funny, especially when Charles imitated the AT-AT being destroyed by the trip wire in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. Some of Charles’ impressions aren’t the best, including Darth Vader, but as a whole they all fit together and join up. The script is full of comedic insertions, like when Luke sees Darth Vader’s real face and states “I thought you were black”.
Having not watched the Star Wars movies in a few years I did wonder, at times, what the monkeys he was re-enacting on stage. So you’d probably get most out of this show by a pre Star Wars movie marathon, but without this you’ll still get enough. My definition of a good Fringe show is one I enjoyed and one I remember. One Man Star Wars Trilogy comfortably ticks both boxes.
The good web-site for Charles Allen’s One Man Star Wars Trilogy includes a 5 minute video of assorted clips, that could bring memories of the show back to those who have seen it and enable others to choose whether they really do want to see it. Next year Charles stated his other show, One Man Lord Of the Rings trilogy, would be coming to town.
Highly recommended for Star Wars fans and viewers everywhere.
One Man Stars Trilogy has eight nights left, starting on the 21st August 2006 at 8.05pm. Tickets cost Â£10 or Â£12, depending on night.