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Not Everything Is Significant
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Not Everything Is Significant
by Ben Moor
A biographer with writer’s block is sent his diary for the following year.
But it’s already been filled in.
Should he follow his destiny or fight it?
Either way his life is is going to take some strange turns, via diabetic Mariachi bands, yawntalkers and the 4000 rules of exaggeration.
But whatever he discovers along the way, not everything is significant.
Though in the theatre section of the programme, Ben Moor’s charming and original one-man play contains some of the most brilliantly sublime comic lines of the festival. He’s a dry, inventive writer, with a genuine love of cunning wordplay and delightful off-the-wall imagery.
In a festival full of shows desperately stretched to fill an hour, this entertaining, stylish and sometimes beautiful play packs in gags, ideas and plot developments so densely that you almost want to go straight back in and watch it all over again, to pick up the subtleties you know you missed first time around.
Moor plays a biographer who explains how he prefer to examine the lives of others through the minutiae; taking minor details then extrapolating the bigger picture, although, he concedes, that not everything is significant. He also plays the professional footnoter, annotating the biographer’s account, adding extra information, correcting inaccuracies – but mainly providing sly jokes to supplement the primary report.
The biographer tells us he’s suffering from writers’ block, finding easy distractions from his on-off girlfriend and the Rogers Creation, a bizarre and unique piece of music. But when he receives in the post an anonymous package, containing a diary with his movements for the next nine months already filled in… well, then the biography he was working on bites the dust – and the mystery really begins.
The narrative is tangled – by design – and what is actually going on remains agreeably ambiguous. But the ride is an absolute pleasure, as the straight-faced Moor guides us cheerily through parallel worlds of JG Ballard theme pubs, Mobius strip clubs and garden henges. His turn of phrase is exquisite, and the jokes elegant and memorable, it’s hard to resist the temptation to quote them all.
Storytelling is in the ascendant in comedy, and there can be few better examples of how to do it than this smart, funny and thoroughly satisfying show.
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
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