Alexander Fox: Snare | Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett
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Alexander Fox: Snare

Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett

For once, the programme blurb says it all. In 2011, Alexander Fox went to music college where he began an illicit affair with his drum teacher.  

And that’s really all there is to Snare. Or  if there is more, it doesn’t emerge from this flaccid retelling, loosely conceived as a shallow parody of The Graduate. But Fox is no Dustin Hoffman and the unemotional disembodied voice of the older woman, ‘Mrs Richardson’, is no Anne Bancroft.

He was a geeky virgin, she the sophisticated older woman apparently stuck in a loveless marriage, so shagging the students like some female svengali. What emptiness she might be filling, and the dubious ethics of her actions, may be an interesting story, but she’s too sketchily drawn for that. Instead, the tale is told entirely through the  eyes of the ingenu, made to feel special by the affair.

In a forced conceit, Fox tells this story as if in a recording studio, with us as the band, ready to record a new album. It gives him the excuse for a little audience interaction and explains the presence of the drum kit, but the two sides of the show barely talk to each other. Considering he’s a drummer, it’s ironic his left hand doesn’t know what is right hand is doing.

Speaking of which he’s fierce with the sticks, smashing out complicated, layered, rhythms at a frenzied pace. It makes absolute sense that he would place his instrument at the heart of the show. But all that surrounds it is not nearly as tight.

His story is told like a performed reading, with none of the looseness of stand-up, and the jokes are almost invariably lame. When he speaks of splitting music into bars, he makes a quip about booze - that is the level he’s working on.

Drummers are always the butt of jokes in bands; but 26-year-old Fox – who in his suit looks more like a trainee solicitor than a wild man of rock – has not been able to turn the tables with this plodding yarn.

Review date: 26 Aug 2019
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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