What Broke David Lynch?

Greenside @ Nicolson Square (Fern Studio)
Aug 5 – 7, 8 – 13, 15 – 20, 22 – 27, 21.00

Mr Twonkey, is a favourite of the Edinburgh fringe. His real name is Paul Vickers and in 2010 he brought his award winning cabaret to the stage at the Fringe all those years ago. His work stretches and bends the academy of theatre with a truthfulness that can’t be ignored.

In this work the 4 performers, actors of prominence, broke out in the highly anticipated ‘What Broke David Lynch’. For those who haven’t heard of David he is an American Film maker of prolific proportion since 1970’s. This play was based around him and examined how the inner workings of movie making for him came about, in the face of the 1980 film ‘The Elephant Man’.

So enter the play! For some reason the room at Greenside in Edinburgh felt absolutely magic, it could have been the lighting scaffolding, or that it was just so neatly presented. Out came a cigar smoking Mel Brookes in a brown overcoat with scribbled writing of his film titles all over it. The great quality of cast was evident from the start, with multifaceted opinions everywhere flying around at a fast pace.

Looking back I’m amazed that it all was done in only an hour. I saw Mr Twonkey’s work ‘Jennifer’s Robot’ back in 2015 where I recall a feeling of strangeness and abstract absurdness in his writing. But the amazing thing I found for ‘…David Lynch’ was its complete sense, and with it success.

This show was all made of the very best of everything; taste, class, poking fun at the movie-making business. A joy to see among the threats and failings of Paul’s ability to cope with things of tenderness it explored. The ‘Elephant man’ meets Anthony Hopkins (from the original film), meets the flamboyant janitor of the movie business, cigars, motor bikes, very weird papier-mache globes worn repeatedly, but for only moments.

The levels unveiled hit the heights of the talent and capability of the four who bounced the tale in resonance, having brought a recipe for success. All to make a comment on 80’s movies, using plenty of parables, placed in piercing moment of clarity or with the softest of scenes. Paul made the best of joking and of jokes that were self explanatory in their hilarity, making use of his mind in ways unexpected and forever sensitive.

The play proceeded in sensation, its story, props, timing blended with Paul himself who was so relaxed; his interaction went so well to keep everyone of the close knit cast under his tutelage. The female, Miranda Shrapnell had the role of loving him, the costumes told stories in themselves and jokes were firing out faster than I could take them in; fantastic.

In fact I think now I’ve had time to reflect, the joke lines helped shape the vision of proceedings, funny yet serious. Lynch in life had come across ‘The Elephant Man’ when his project’ Ronnie Rocket’ was dragging, so he prepared to take up a movie about Joseph Merrick, a man seriously deformed in the early twentieth century, ‘The Elephant man’ is a film that holds its art and craft at cult levels

But the world was on his back when his progress was slow, so he had to fend off things when it got too gluey to deal with.

An entourage of award-winning, tempting fun, with a remarkable clarity of vision and of years and years in preparation (wither knowingly or not); a perfect play where you forget time to intimately know the personality of music, laughter, writing and endearing reward of splendid proportions.

Daniel Donnelly

Posted on August 7, 2022, in Fringe 2022. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: