Tony Tanner's ‘Charlatan’ - SST Productions - One4Review
As a regular base line philistine with a low grade tolerance for ‘up itself prose’ and with no real grasp or devout interest in the origins of the Ballet Russes, I walked into Tony Tanner’s one man play Charlatan expecting to be mildly entertained. I was stunned by the sheer talent of the actor and totally overawed by the story. Tanner wrote this piece based on Sergei Diaghilev the man who is responsible for bringing modern and classical dance to the masses back in the early 1900s. His loves, hates and gossipy back biting are as relevant today as any sharp, sassy sitcom and the writing is superb.
Now, do not under any circumstances assume that this play is for those who adore Russian ballet and enjoy riveting tales of high falluting folk in a cultured world of exclusivity- it is quite the opposite, as the story itself uses a myriad of effluent language yet is still a cracking good story. And one that needs to be told.
Tanner had me transfixed from the moment the light shone on him, he takes the role of the fading Diaghilev in his sharp black suit and weaves his magic, you can almost see Nijinsky leap through the air with your own eyes. This isn’t just a story about ballet or about dance but a true human tale which had me wanting to watch it all over again. And I will.
Reviewed by guest celebrity Janey Godley
Assembly Halls Baillie Room V
5 to 30 August
17-30 to 18-30
Fringe Brochure p297