The Overcoat

THEATRE
****
 The Overcoat
Pleasance Dome

Akaky McKaky is born old – or at least middle aged. We follow his unfortunate yet hilarious and very unprivileged life. Not, as in the original classic Gogol story of this name, in the St Petersburg of 200 years ago, but in modern Scotland, from the 70s to today. Arkaky works in a bank, and we see how changes in work practices and bosses, his attempts at work romance, and his lifelong attachment to an old coat, impact upon him.

This is a fast-paced high-octane comedy where, apart from Billy Mack as Arkaky, the cast move between roles with dizzying speed and great effectiveness. It is a roller-coaster ride which is hugely enjoyable. Moreover, it has an edge – it is politically and socially very astute; listen to the end and to the final line, which is the key.

This is part of a Finnish contribution to this year’s Fringe. The show has been a great hit in Scandinavia, and this English language version has been written by Sami Keski-Vahala and directed by the famous Finnish director Esa Leskinen, with a Scottish cast.

This is a great show for waking you up at the beginning of your day, and for combining reminding you of the kind of world you are living in, at the same time as providing excellent laugh-aloud entertainment. Quite an achievement!