Monday, 14 June 2010

first canadian review... the hour

REVIEW: One Man Riot, by Jem Rolls

One Man Riot, at the Hour Stage, is the latest one-man show from British Big Word Performance Poet, and popular Fringe Fest regular, Jem Rolls. And he breaks out the batons on this one. Easily the most entertaining and wholly engrossing thing I've seen at the Fringe thus far, Rolls leaves it all on the stage. It's a fascinating, furiously paced, 45-minute race down memory lane as Rolls recounts the hair-raising and often hilarious origins of his discovery of the power of language (in the middle of a British poll tax riot, no less). Rolls didn't take his foot off the gas for a second for this performance, and by the end was bathed in sweat. Which may have as much to do with the lack of air-conditioning as the energy he drove the show with. And he even manages to throw a ghost story into the mix. Be sure to indulge in a couple (Molotov) cocktails beforehand, but not too many, as you're going to want to be able to keep up.*Essential viewing info: The expression "Old Bill" is British slang for "police." Like the dummy I am, I spent the first 10 minutes wondering who this Bill character was and why he was always showing up at these riots.

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