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Luke Toulson: Fringe 2012

Luke Toulson: Fringe 2012

With Luke Toulson’s show it is best to forget that there is supposed to be a theme and enjoy the mix of well-told yarns that appear to merge the apocryphal and the genuine.

The theme itself is supposed to be a tribute to the two most important women in his life, his daughter and his girlfriend (don’t worry, he loves his mum too), a tribute put into focus by the death of a good friend.

This tragedy has made Toulson realise that loved ones are precious beyond any other concern, and aware of how feckless he is prone to be without actually changing his ways.

That this isn’t really explored further is frustrating. More unfortunate is that his daughter and his girlfriend remain two-dimensional. They are either ciphers for material  – for example an internet age-old routine about hiding porn site visits – or merely staging points to hang together unrelated material on, for example, the fact that Kingsmill bread has a Twitter account.

Some routines teeter on the fact/fiction border while others need pushing one way or the other. As an example of the former, Toulson describes how his children sit either side of a ‘hoodie’ on London bus. Touslon, sat a few seats away for safety, tries to defuse the tension with a game of I-Spy. The hoodie joins in unsuccessfully and is shown up by Toulson’s daughter. It’s a nicely embroidered scene.

Meanwhile, falling into the latter category, is a sequence describing how he thought he was nearly going to die in a plane crash, prompting his girlfriend of two months that he loved her. He indicates that this story has come up in another show, but we could do with a refresher about what happened?  What was her reaction? How did she feel? Could we find out more about her personality from this crucial life event?

The effort of stylising the ending, with the prism of a Biblical story and a song, could have been put into threading through a bit more colour into the rest of what is a competent, if not illuminating, hour.

Wednesday 15th Aug, '12
Julian Hall

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