Juvenalia** (Assembly Hall, Edinburgh)

Posted: August 16, 2014 in Theatre

fringe- quarter page template.inddSimon Callow is the master of one-man shows dedicated to cultural icons – Shakespeare, Dickens, Wagner – but who has ever heard of Juvenal? Well, he was a scabrous satirist living in Rome around the 1st Century AD and this show is a collection of his writings, adapted by Richard Quick to give them a modern slant. A vulgar misogynist, he rants against just about everything that comes into his view, but mere rudeness is no substitute for wit and, sadly, the novelty of his outbursts wears thin very quickly. This show could be an uproarious success if performed as an after dinner entertainment for Oxbridge Classics scholars and Callow appears suitably dressed for such an occasion. A few of Juvenal’s observations are relevant to the present day, but the rest are all pretty obscure and there is far too much repetition. Callow’s flamboyant, actorly style is always a joy to behold, but, otherwise, this show has little to recommend it.

Performance date: 15 August 2015

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