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Fergus Craig Still Watches Neighbours - Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Corry Shaw

For people of a certain age the daily Aussie soap Neighbours holds a great deal of fond memories: Scott and Charlene’s wedding, Bouncer’s death and Mrs Mangle’s scowl. But few have loved the phenomenon to the extreme Fergus Craig has.

Craig has written two stories: one of his own life and the other of the life of the show, and tried to explain how they overlap.  This device is not always successful and switching between the two can feel a little clunky.

Craig’s strength is in his delivery. He has the most beautiful conversational style, enhanced by his slightly self-depreciating nods to the content.  He is a complete natural on stage with a brilliant grasp on observation, dissecting every aspect of his beloved soap as it plays on the big screen.

There is a certain charming sarcasm about this, reminiscent of Harry Hill’s TV Burp. Presenting would be a definite option for this confident and likable performer.

The footage of his mum and dad is also well presented, with the same eye for the innocuous detail, but as the show progresses the introduction of the clips feels more and more unnatural. It seems that two brilliant shows have been forged together to make one average one. It is  interesting but a little jarring that Craig speaks with the same passion on the soap’s Lassiter’s hotel complex as he does about family holidays.

The writing is great, the delivery impeccable but the structure is flawed. The flow of the narrative is lost and at some points – the massively ill advised rap – completely lost.

Craig is a hugely exciting act who will produce something very special in the future, once he has developed some kind of direction and flow to his writing. Watch out for him.

Review date: 28 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw

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