Absinthe: The Green Fairy

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Captain Zeep's Theatre
Michelle Size (playwright and director)
Allan Scott-Douglas, Alis Taylor, Scott Cadenhead, Lynne McEwan, Stephen Samson
Running time

Visitors to this website of more than a couple of years’ vintage will remember that we used to have a scoring system for reviews that was based on how many drams of whisky you would need to consume in order to get through the show. Sadly, the drams were composed merely of pixels, but even a virtual tot of absinthe would have been appreciated when I went down to catch a glimpse of the Green Fairy the other day.

Made up of three short but thematically-linked plays by Michelle Size (who also directs), the piece shows just some of the ways in which this classically bohemian tipple can disrupt and derail people’s plans. The figure of the Green Fairy herself is seen loitering around, tempting or simply waiting for humans to succumb to her allure. A vicious, gleeful sprite most of the time, she is also an inspirational figure, albeit one who is interested first and foremost with her own survival.

Although the show is performed with chutzpah, and features at least one entertainingly bonkers performance by Allan Scott-Douglas, it cannot quite escape the chaotic effects of a lack of directorial cohesion. A particularly regrettable decision was to have a couple of baffling poems read out after each scene-change by a young man in a wobbly tophat who looks as if he belongs on stage at a primary-school assembly.

Archetypally "Fringe" in its production values, this show is likely to appeal to younger audiences or people who can stand more than two minutes of the average output of BBC Three. Not me, then, but it could be you.

Times: Aug 4-16 (no show on Aug 10) at 11:20