Torsten The Bareback Saint Edinburgh Fringe Review *****

Reviewing shows is something that is a hobby of mine it’s unpaid as is the radio shows that I do I have a normal everyday run of the mill job but doing the radio shows and writing articles gives me a purpose and I really enjoy doing it.

In my teenage years in the ’80’s most people were listening to Wham or Duran Duran or even the brilliant Culture Club, me I was a huge U2 fan but one artist stood above them all for me and that artist was Erasure with the wonderful Andy Bell as the singer, I have still to this day got all their albums and never tire of listening to them so imagine my glee when I found out Andy was coming to the Fringe to play a one man show in a production called Torsten The Bareback Saint.

From the outset of this review I will say that there is some choice language and some scenes of a graphic nature.

The show starts off with Andy at the side of the stage in what appears to me to be olden days headmaster clothes the cape and mortar and sings the opening song of the show about schooldays while walking up the steps to the stage, on the screen in the background there are images and videos of various schooldays things, and for the next hour we are treated to Andy singing 22 songs titles include Teacher Teacher, Bingo Hall Baby and Weston-Super-Mare, there is no chat to the audience there is no banter as you would normally find at an Erasure gig because put simply this is I would say is as far removed for an Erasure gig as you will find.

Andy himself has been quoted as saying “this is the biggest challenge of my career” and I believe he does extremely well in this show to convey all the emotions of the character from happiness to sadness to anger to loss all the emotions are there and Andy really gets them across to the audience, there are also times where he looks so vulnerable and alone you can’t help but feel for him. The character Torsten is described as a “polysexual semi immortal” he has seen many lovers and people die but he has lived on, the songs themselves are very good some of them quite short but work very well and Andy has some costume changes throughout the show too and fits all of it into an hour of great musical theatre.

Special mentions must go to Barney Ashton-Bullock who wrote the show I managed to quickly meet him after and let him know how much I enjoyed the show, and also a mention to Christopher Frost who is sat at the side of the stage playing keyboards, saxophone and various other things he is one good musician. During one of the songs I am sure Jimmy Somerville is singing backing vocals however I did not get the chance to ask if it was.

I got to meet Andy after the show and meeting someone who’s music you have loved for over 30 years is just fantastic Andy is a lovely man and it seems to me he loves doing this show.

Torsten The Bareback Saint runs until the 16th August at Assembly George Square Studios number 1 at 6.30pm
Tickets are priced at £16

I give this great show a huge 5 Stars. A Must See

Feel free to leave a comment or email me at:
barryd69@hotmail.com

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