The Canterville Ghost @ Pleasance Courtyard

Tall Stories have managed to abridge a tale not only with mirth, they've shown up most of the other acts at the Fringe by proving they can pull out every trick conceivable

Review by Dominic Corr | 29 Aug 2018

Clear lovers of the works of Oscar Wilde, Tall Stories – along with their other show Wilde Creatures – tackle The Canterville Ghost, in what turns out to be an elaborate, well-thought-out abridged version of key scenes compiled together through a separate narrative. For one last night, before giving up the ghost we are here to celebrate the theatre, storytelling and dedicated professionals one last time. 

At the heart of it all, this is just about having fun. No performer seems like they're working, or just going through the motions even at this late stage in the Fringe. Instead, these are characters – living and breathing manifestations of either Wilde's work or the cast of the theatre in which the production is staged. Costume, effects, staging and more; so much effort has gone into this.

Divided into five 'acts' the company condenses their favourite scenes of The Canterville Ghost into short bursts of humour, witty writing and some dated but still impressive tricks. All of our performers work in tandem, yet also deserve their own spotlight. Tom Jude for his role as the Ghost and the Magician brings an elegance with comedic timing; Matt Jopling's role as the ventriloquist clown completely nails the nostalgic charisma we cherish; and Steve McCourt and Lauren Silver's vocals in the final performance which chill. 

Not only paying tribute to the master of baroque wordplay, Tall Stories pays homage to the lesser remembered talents of the entertainment world in the form of magicians, ventriloquists and even psychics, before they all craved a televised special. The Canterville Ghost excels in drawing us into those days long past. The closing tone, climax looming, is immensely more powerful than it has any right to be. 

The Canterville Ghost, Pleasance Courtyard, run ended

Scroll on to read more of The Skinny's 2018 Edinburgh Fringe theatre reviews; click here for a round-up of all the best reviews from this year's comedy and theatre programmes