[20000031] John Astin – Edgar Allen Poe

John Astin – Edgar Allen Poe

Arts Theatre

1:00pm, Wed 8 Mar 2000

Score: 7

Short Review: Disappointing

John Astin, bearing more than an uncanny resemblance to the real Edgar Allen Poe, presents one of the longer shows at this year’s fringe. Clocking in at 1:45 – an impressive effort, given that it’s a monologue – it runs out of stem about 20 minutes before its conclusion.

This is a bit of a shame, really – the first act (about 50 minutes worth ) is really quite good. Astin opens the show by letting Poe read his own obituary – a most amusing moment, with Astin wonderfully comic. The play then lays Poe’s demons out before the audience, closing the first act on a particularly down note.

The second act was… flat. Astin noticeably stumbled on several lines, and his reading of “The Raven” left much to be desired… where was the inherent, brooding terror? However, most other excerpts from Poe’s writings were cleverly moulded into the script (which was, on the whole, quite good).

After all the hype surrounding this play, I was expecting quite a bit from it – but it wasn’t quite there. With the exception of the aforementioned faults, Astin was quite good; it’s just that the script needed a tiny bit of trimming. Worth seeing for Astin’s alter ego; just not quite the blockbuster we’ve been led to believe it would be.

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