Adam Riches: Victor
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2007
Meet Victor Legit. A simple man with an incredible body, a surveillance officer for the Federation Against Copyright Theft. Join his crusade to rid society of a vicious evil lurking in all our lives ... DVD Piracy.
Victor Legit is a macho enforcement officer for Fact, the Federation Against Copyright Theft, who takes his job far too seriously.
To him, his fight against the small-scale bootleggers offering knock-off DVDs is all-important. He imagines himself as some maverick, hardbitten Dirty Harry-style cop on the rough, lawless streets of Pirate Town.
So far, so good for a classic character comedy set-up – people with delusions beyond their station is the bread-and-butter of the genre. He is at the Fringe, he tells us, to deliver a ’50-minute power lecture’ on the evils of illegal videos, liberally interspersed with arrogant boasts about just how good he is at spreading the message.
The performance mocks the phoney sincerity and preachy messages of public-service adverts with wonderfully overblown delivery. But what elevates the show even further is actor Adam Riches’s easy rapport and brilliant improvisational skills, effortlessly incorporating latecomers and well-intentioned audience interjections into his conceited patter, never once breaking character and infusing a genuine sense of spontaneity into proceedings.
He also has a brilliant sense of comic timing, wringing every last drop of humour out of the deadpanned lines.
It’s great stuff, though you do wonder how it will last an hour – until a couple of theatrical twists send the show tumbling into exciting new directions, revealing a more brutal side to Legit and adding a genuine sense of drama. Yet despite the new edgy, menace the gags, both verbal and visual, just keep on coming, as the knowing script is as punchy as the performance. Sharp stuff all round.
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett