Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Edinburgh Fringe - The Only Way Is Downton

     This was a show that I wanted to see last year having heard many good reviews about it, but didn’t have the time to go to. I think the time I tried to get tickets it was sold out already. However, this year it’s back so I made sure to go see what all the fuss was about. And it certainly lived up to the hype!

     The Only Way Is Downton is a one-man impressionist show, in which Luke Kempner moves seamlessly between characters. The story revolves around Downton Abbey, but also dips into other popular shows such as The X Factor, The Great British Bake Off and Pointless. The only critique I would have (and it isn’t really a critique at all, just something true of all impressions) is that if you aren’t familiar with Downton Abbey and its characters, you may not find it as entertaining. I’m a fan of the show though, so I thoroughly enjoyed this.

     First of all, the impressions were spot on. I was able to easily recognise and distinguish between all the characters, as Kempner provided different accents and mannerisms for them all. The Dowager Countess, Lady Mary and Andy Murray were some of my personal favourites. The storyline was also great though, cleverly interweaving the different shows and throwing in references to the fact that they are just TV shows. The humour and the way the jokes were written was excellent as well, leaving me in fits of giggles during the whole performance.

     I went with a friend who saw the show last year, and she assured me that while some things remained the same, there were plenty of new elements to it, meaning she was able to enjoy it greatly and not feel like she knew exactly what was coming up next all the time. She also said she felt it was better this year, the additions having enhanced the show.

      This show is different to others I’ve seen at the Fringe before, given that I tend to go for stand-up comedians and improvised acts much of the time. I wasn’t very sure what to expect or whether I would enjoy it, but now I’m very glad that I went. The show was hilarious, and Kempner is very talented at what he does and has created something that I feel is quite unique in amongst the throngs of other Fringe acts. A definite recommendation, for Downton Abbey fans in particular.


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