The Half

Richard Dormer

Assembly George Square

From 07 August 2012 to 26 August 2012

Rating: *****

Review by Philip Fisher

If you have ever wondered what goes through an actor’s mind in the last half an hour (well 35 minutes) before the curtain rises, as he contemplates playing Hamlet, go and see The Half.

Otherwise, go anyway to see Guy Masterson under the direction of David Calvitto giving a virtuoso performance as a drunken sot of a failed actor dissecting his life just as surely as his subject does.

Divorce and a 4½ hour solo gig playing every part from Gertrude to the junior Gravedigger, never forgetting the uncertain hero, would be enough to make any superstitious actor suicidal, let alone a brief spell of “resting” that has stretched for 15 long, alcohol-diminished years.

Trapped in a soulless breezeblock dressing room with only a skull for company, the hard-working Guy Masterson combines some awesome soliloquies from the bard with his character’s anguish and humour in a 70-minute solo that is unlikely to be bettered on the Fringe this year.