Pip Utton's Greatest Hits

Pip Utton

Pleasance Courtyard

From 02 August 2017 to 28 August 2017

Rating: *****

Review by Graeme Strachan

The one-man theatre performance is a staple of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, whether it be a man or a woman on stage. Although it looks easy, it's a mercurial and hard art to master. If there were a shortlist of the greatest Fringe performers of this craft, Pip Utton would sit in that uppermost cadre.

Utton is alternating four of his most successful pieces nightly during the fringe. His personifications of Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Adolf Hitler and Francis Bacon have each been lauded to the ends of the earth, and it's a kindness that Utton is allowing fringe goers the opportunity to see each of them this year.

The afternoon I attended, it was a performance of Adolf, a performance I had seen previously, and it was with no small measure of pleasure that I noted the sly alterations made to better suit both the venue and the contemporary politics of now.

It's an enthralling piece, with Utton's Führer sitting dejectedly in his bunker and addressing the audience alternatingly in asides, or as part of his loyal staff. He schemes for the future, warns and fills the audience with little ideas about how to perpetuate the nazi ideology, ranting and railing with mannerisms uncanny, and an energy that seems to be drawn from the depths of Hell itself.

A phenomenal show, and a quartet of incredible opportunities to see a master at work.