Christopher Bliss @ PBH Free Fringe, Voodoo Rooms

A novel approach to books and writing from Christopher Bliss…

Review by Stu Black | 09 Aug 2017
  • Christopher Bliss

Nerdy Christopher Bliss is not only the nicest wordsmith you'll ever meet, he also has the ability to make you see the world in a brand new way. Never mind that he’s getting almost everything wrong: mistaking an apology note for a novel, backstroke for swimming upside down, and The Communist Manifesto for a ghost story.

In his sky blue anorak and horn-rimmed glasses, Bliss conducts a hugely uplifting literary salon during which he shares insights he’s picked up over the years as the best novelist in his village (he churns out three novels a day, in between swims and baths). So we are given sage lessons on how to write: start politely, use words with a ‘Z’ in them, mention breasts when things get dull. And we get samples to prove Bliss’s barmy rules actually work in practice: lovely readings from his latest book about nerdy hero Andrew Shivers and his troubles with school bully Nicholas Bigboy. Audience participation is welcome and always received with a winningly rhotacistic “brilliant” from Bliss.

This is a warm and witty show with a charming, nuanced character at its heart – Bliss is played by talented actor-comedian Rob Carter. No doubt some will moan that he’s making fun of an idiot savant, but unlike Ricky Gervais with his obnoxious take on a similar character in Derek, Carter makes Bliss the hero. And by the end, you’ll be glad to have had the chance to see the world through his bottle-bottom glasses.

Christopher Bliss: Writing Wrongs, PBH Free Fringe @ Voodoo Rooms, until 27 Aug (not 14), 2.55pm, Free