Set in limbo, ‘The Lad Himself’ examines the life of famous comic actor Tony Hancock. Hancock has just died, and is waiting to be judged by St. Peter, to see if he will be “playing ping pong with Hitler” or entering the “pearly gates”. ‘The Lad Himself’ is full of laughs, and brilliant one liners. Cleverly, it does well not to hero worship Hancock and addresses some of the more complex themes of his life, for example his misogyny and megalomania. Mark Brailsford (Hancock) is devilishly good, and does justice to the great man himself. In an interesting twist, God and St. Peter are both women, a device which elicits some good jokes. Thoroughly enjoyable, even if you are not familiar with Hancock’s work.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 1-26 Aug (not 11), 1.30pm.
tw rating 4/5 | [Alexandra Wilks]