Man of Valour

Michael West, Annie Ryan and Paul Reid
Traverse 2

It says much about this show that Man of Valour is credited to a writer, a director and an actor.

The trio have teamed up to create something unusual, even for Edinburgh, in a show that will be headlining the Dublin Fringe as soon as its two week residence at the Traverse ends.

Paul Reid plays Farrell, an Irish Everyman, whose dull office job is about to be relocated from Dublin to rural Roscommon.

His experiences are rarely all that notable, though as well as experiencing commuter and work problems, he becomes embroiled in a lively bout of computer gaming and jumps from a bridge.

What makes Man of Valour worth seeing is the delivery.

Accompanied by a soundscape and some clever computer-generated projections, Paul Reid, in clown's white face mimes a life.

The actor's energy is remarkable as is his ability to convey the mundanities of ordinary life with few words and those often muttered but exceptional physical dexterity.

Reid also accompanies his physical rigours with much of the oral, replicating doors and photocopiers as easily as people or animals.

This really is a tour de force worthy of Marcel Marceau or Rowan Atkinson, though by the end of around 80 minutes, there tends to be a little too much repetition.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher