By chance of the calendar, I’ve seen five solo shows back to back, and they all offered me different insights into the art of this truly difficult theatrical form, and the nature of life, loss, theatre and love of self.
This year’s Traverse Festival programme presents eight world premieres, three European premieres and five Scottish premieres, among them a record five Traverse Theatre Company productions in the 70th anniversary year of the Edinburgh Festival.
It is a delightful curiosity, though, in the sense that it’s a show deliberately aiming at a long life on college and festival circuits rather than having eyes on the prize of Broadway or the West End.
Among the slew of American college circuit and chamber musicals at the Fringe, Stop the Train by Rick Guard and Phil Rice stands apart for looking nearly London-ready. Its score, orchestrations, big cast and production values are all first-class so it’s beyond unfortunate that some of the lyrics are away-day, super-saver, railcard-discounted tosh that sound like they came from one of those we-make-it-up-on-the-night improv shows.