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Tom Wrigglesworth's Open Return Letter to... - One4Review

Tom Wrigglesworth’s Open Return Letter 
I first saw this very tall, big-haired Yorkshire man two Fringes ago as part of a AAA Stand Up show and then saw his debut sols show last year. I very much enjoyed both experiences so was delighted to see him back on the Fringe bandwagon this year. Open Return Letter To Richard Branson’ is the title of this years offering and is based in and around a train journey from Manchester to London on a Virgin train and the trials an d tribulations caused by certain ‘jobs-worths’ who were employed by that company. Wrigglesworth paints the picture so succinctly with his clever and funny observational style that it as almost like the characters are in the room with you. Mancunian ‘golden girls’, corporate business men granny-like Lena, they all seem three dimensional, almost palpable, as he recounts the tale of almost extortion that was perpetrated on the journey by the train manager. The good samaratan attitude taken by Tom  to redress the situation landed him in trouble with the authorities, but did it all have a happy ending? Don’t think I am going to tell you that. There is only one way to find out. Beg, borrow or steal a ticket for this guy who is surely one of the rising stars in the comedy firmament. If Wrigglesworth is not in contention for any of the comedy awards that are available during Fringe 2009 then there is no justice in the world, and I may have to follow his example and write an open letter to complain.   *****  
I’d never heard of Tom Wrigglesworth before but from the title his show sounded like it would be worth a look. The train set (with added scenery made entirely from stationery) already running on the stage was a nice touch and the from the opening voiceover of Tom trying to decide how to address his titular letter the show was a triumph of comedic storytelling. On the day I saw the show there were 12 members of the audience who were arriving late due to another show over running, leaving Tom a bit unsure whether to start the show proper without them. He dealt with this slight hiccup admirably and the story of his hungover train journey and the events which led to his feeling the need to write to Richard Branson about Virgin’s ticketing policy was hilarious from start to finish. I’ll never look at a ticket inspector in quite the same way again and I can only congratulate Tom on not only an excellent hour of comedy, but also if I ever need to buy an off-peak ticket on an off-peak train. *****  

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