Simon Slack: The Fantasist at Underbelly Cowgate
Simon Slack: The Fantasist explores the bedroom wonderings of a young man living with his grandmother. The audience is given an (almost literally) bare view of Simon’s adventures inside his own head alongside his bedroom paraphernalia, notably Puppet 5000.
The spectators are lured into a false sense of security as cherub-like Simon waltzes onstage and performs a sort of ballet to Tchaikovsky. Soon, however, the tissues are flying at the climactic moment of the music and indeed of Simon’s “internet research”, and the uncouthness of the scene is perhaps heightened as the audience had not expected to be thrown into the deep end of unashamed filth quite so soon. The show continues to dodge sophistication in its thematic concerns, which is perhaps the point since the show reflects the inner monologue of the teenage fantasist. Puppet 5000 is a good addition to the act, and Rob Cawsey’s performance is animated as well as dedicated. Cawsey’s charisma and stage presence are notable, despite the controversial material he is presented with. It would no doubt be refreshing for the show to limit the vulgarity, and instead add more mental stimulation rather than physical comedy. The script humours a selective taste, and although the audience reacts positively, one cannot help but feel that Cawsey’s talent is wasted on crude lack of sophistication.
A show that breaks conformity in its risqué subject matter, The Fantasist is a play for those who are looking for racy material twinned with a slapstick sense of humour.
Simon Slack: The Fantasist is on at Underbelly Cowgate from 4th August until 28th of August 2016, for further information or to book tickets visit here.