Monologues featuring well-known showbiz personalities are standard fare for the Edinburgh fringe and this one is par for the course. Set in a Sydney hotel room, it shows the tragic clown swigging neat vodka direct from the bottle and recounting anecdotes from his life during that last half hour (more 50 minutes) of his life. Hancock had enjoyed enormous success on radio and television in the 1950s and 60s, even breaking into films, but a series of disastrous career moves had put his career on the skids and brought to the fore all his underlying insecurities. Written by Heathcote Williams and performed by Pip Utton, the play brings to mind Hancock’s own groundbreaking television monologue, being peppered with the same Galton & Simpson style humour, but it tells us little that is not already known from other written and dramatised works.
Performance date: 10 August 2014