Gary Busey’s One-Man Hamlet** (Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh)

Posted: August 25, 2015 in Theatre

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Apart from vaguely remembering that he starred in a few decent American films 20 and more years ago, Gary Busey is a name that means very little to me, so I am not quite sure why I was persuaded that this celebration of his over-the-top cult status night be of interest. It seems as if Mr Busey’s most recent achievement of note was winning Celebrity Big Brother, which speaks for itself, but, as Benedict C is busy elsewhere, why shouldn’t he have a crack at playing Hamlet? David Carl, who plays Busey is also the writer and, thankfully, the show lasts for less than a third of the running time of the original and contains hardly any actual Shakespeare. The jokes are crude and predictable, but Carl sells it all with vigour, his persistent yelling ensuring that no-one falls asleep (perhaps beating Benedict on that score). In the end, it is a mildly amusing hour and nowhere near as bad as it sometimes threatens to become.

Performance date: 17 August 2015

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