I have never seen a Stanley Kubrick film and so I was expecting to be a bit baffled by Kubrick³. I should probably have made more effort to read the marketing copy before I saw the play (but such is the nature of papering comps), as then I would’ve known it’s not about Stanley Kubrick but someone who claimed to be Stanley Kubrick to get sex, free stuff and to engage in various japes. Alan Conway, conman and liar, has just died and his son is trying to work out who he really was. It’s a bit like the movie Big Fish but grimmer and absurd in a completely different way.
Alan is played by four actors, and all four of these actors also take on other roles. It’s difficult to explain why this is good, but it is. I suppose it’s about how to Alan, his identity was flexible and changeable. Mostly, it’s just used really well for comic effect and allows him to become all of the characters in all of the stories. The plotline with the son was a bit clichéd, if I’m honest, and I actually was far happier being lied to about this man’s identity rather than weighed down by his son’s less entertaining call for honesty, because in this instance the lie is more interesting than the truth. Alan’s lies do need some grounding, this just doesn’t seem like the most interesting way to achieve it. My favourite bit was when the director came on stage at the start and asked us to give feedback at the end. I thought this was really, really lovely, because Fringe previews tend to be more about making sure you sell tickets for the rest of the run more than making sure your show is ready for the rest of the run, so knowing they were keen to hear the thoughts of the audience brought me joy.
It’s a really fun and really good show. However, it is written and directed by the Artistic Director of the New Diorama Theatre and backed by a pretty successful production company as well as Greenwich Theatre; I found it a bizarre choice for the Les Enfants Terribles Award, as there are emerging companies who could have benefited far more from the cash injection and mentoring the award offers. I suppose people don’t want to piss money away, but as more and more articles pop up claiming the Fringe to be expensive to the point of pricing out new artists, it would be absolutely amazing if more young artists received more help paving their way. Maybe I’m just bitter because I’m still in my ’emerging’ phase.
Wednesday 31st July, 7:30pm, Pleasance Courtyard