Tim FitzHigham: The Bard's Fool

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

Anyone who has seen Tim FitzHigham before, or indeed ordered his book from Amazon (he will be mentioning it in the show), will be aware of the comic’s finely honed ability to be hugely sidetracked by an idea then take it to the extreme, regardless of the risk to his life, health or in this case the skin on the bottom of his foot.

His most famous stunt to date is his being the first man to row a bath tub across the English Channel. Since then many of his wild notions have been largely fuelled by his reading of a poem or prose and deciding to take on whatever was the challenge contained within.

Reading Don Quixote on the book’s 400th birthday, lead to him living in a cave in Spain in full medieval armour,while a squizz at the Kama Sutra resulted in last year’s show on Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton who unleashed the sex manual on Europe.

This year he’s been reading Elizabethan clown Will Kemp’s poem Nine Daies Wonder, which details his challenge to Morris dance from London to Norwich, following an argument with his mate Shakespeare.

So, not only has FitzHigham had to learn the art of Morris dancing, which is surely sacrifice enough, but he also ran half-marathons to train for covering the 150 miles between cities.

Crazed, sweaty, almost over-running and wearing bells, FitzHigham recreates his tale with aplomb. Despite the fact that we’re sat in a Portakabin in the Pleasance Courtyard, it’s easy to feel like we’re alongside him on his journey, only without the blisters. We’re with him as he takes two steps back for every four forward, or as he tells of becoming a toy for a bulldog in London’s East End, or as he becomes distracted by a 15-year-old called Lolita, or as he meets the many dignitaries along the way.

Surely FitzHigham takes onboard the spirit of the Fringe more than anyone else at the festival, taking an idea and running with it (or in this case skipping and waving a hankie at it). Never mind these comics that merely sit safely at a laptop to write the show, when have they ever risked the loss of a toenail for our entertainment?

Reviewed by: Marissa Burgess

Review date: 1 Jan 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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