Him

Stewart Booth

Boothwessel Production Company

theSpace on the Mile

From 20 August 2012 to 26 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Graeme Strachan

There can tend to be an overindulgence when writers turn their gaze inward and write about the struggles with the written word, as such it was with a slight level of wary trepidation that I began Him the new play from Boothwessel Production Company.

Luckily, Stewart Booth's play, which he also stars in, is nothing of the sort. Instead, this bittersweet tale of an ageing, once successful writer reduced to copywriting is resolutely unpretentious and thoroughly engaging. At an hour and a half, it's one of the longer dramatic pieces going at the Fringe this year but never feels like it has overstayed its welcome.

The quick-witted, grumbly old scribe finds himself presented with the opportunity to have his best work re-published and lauded with accolades which will certainly survive him, if only he can get through the ceremony without embarrassing everyone involved or rocking the boat. Added to this, his old flame publisher, well meaning nephew and new cleaning lady all variously descend upon him and bring varying degrees of havoc to his disorganised life.

It's a sharply-written and brilliantly realised piece of classic storytelling with enough snatches of reality to ensure it never feels contrived. Him constitutes a great first Fringe offering from Boothwessel and shows that it has the guts and gumption to bring unashamed, top quality theatre to the Fringe.