One Man Star Wars

We've just returned from seeing One Man Star Wars Trilogy with Charles Ross (he also does the One Man Lord of the Rings, which he's currently not allowed to tour in the UK, presumably due to the musical). The warm up at the start of the show was a guy called Matthew Reed, he was amusing enough and raised a few chuckles. He wasn't laugh out loud funny though. His stint was about 20 minutes, and then a break of about 15 minutes (we'd only just settled in!)... and the main event.

We didn't know what to expect... Well, we did... we expected One Man Star Wars (the clue is in the title). What we didn't know was, frankly, if it'd be much cop. We were pleasantly surprised. He does each of the three films in the original trilogy (not the prequels) in 20 minutes each, with most of the major plot points present. There are even the opening lion's roar and the scrolling text (okay, you have to imagine the actual text).

I won't recount the details, as if you've seen the films, you know the plot. As we left I overheard one woman saying 'I didn't really know what was happening'. Unsurprising, you're not going to understand the parody without at least some familiarity with the thing being parodied!

His rendition is hilarious. C3P0 was very well done, and Luke was uniformly presented as whiny, which hit the nail on the head. Not every word uttered was directly from the film (Luke's last line of 'Jedi' was very amusing, as was Han's reaction to Leia's revelation at the end of 'Jedi').

Chewbacca's reaction at the medal ceremony at the end of 'A New Hope' was very funny, and echoed what I've thought each time I've seen that scene.

Yoda was very well observed, the physicality with Yoda's (imaginary) cane was spot on.

For me, the best parts were the appearance of some of the minor characters. The thug in the bar who abuses Luke ('He doesn't like you..... I don't like you either') was very well done. Admiral Ackbar was good too, and reminded me of Columbo.

The battle to blow up the Death Star, with the visual representation of the various ships was good - we could instantly distinguish an X-wing from a Y-wing from a Tie Fighter.

A good night out, but it's not one for those rare people who aren't familiar with the films. The show is touring in the UK until mid-July. For one night at each venue it will visit Kings Lynn, Canterbury, Bradford, Newcastle, Nottingham, Northampton, Cardiff, Leicester, Cheltenham, Lichfield, Salford, Reading, Poole, London (for 7 nights), Durham and Lincoln. It ends its tour in Lincoln on the 12th July.

Oh, one thing.... there are StormTroopers at the Theatre. If you want a photo, go early and bring a camera. I didn't have mine.

Other Reviews: Christina on Myspace, Daily Vodcast, The Loy and a Video Clip via Chris Drummer and a podcast interview from iscifi