Review: Revelations ***



Summerhall Venue 26 17.40

August 4th to 26th (not 13th, 20th)

*** Three stars.

This is the third of a series of one man shows by James Rowland, and it focuses on the situation of being asked by your best girl friend and her female partner to donate sperm so that they can start a family.

James and his friend have been close since that age of twelve. They have spent time at Christian camps together – yes, there is a certain amount of religion in the show, but it is jolly religion, just as the performer is very jolly. Religion that helps keep communities together, provides people with a group of friends where they might otherwise not have them. Nothing very transcendental or controversial. But it seems the friend is not a believer, and does not keep coming to the camps after she comes out to him.

We follow the process of providing the sperm with much humour – well, a man has to find the means to get himself into the correct frame of mind. Eventually, there are developments, and the crucial movement towards the birth, and various episodes both light and serous.

James’s joyful personality shines through the whole show, but I did have a substantial feeling of being manipulated at times – like those times in TV shows when a winner is about to be announced, and you have to wait…and wait…until the word is pronounced.

Little can dim James’s joy, and he gets to do almost naked cartwheels – well, he keeps his socks on. This is a show that takes in some of the most challenging of human experiences, but contrives to bounce along and keep us singing and in cheerful mood. It is an enlivening tea time treat.

Tony Challis