Megan Amato reviews Chris Grace: As Scarlett Johansson at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
HAVING interviewed Chris Grace last month, I walked into his show with a friend in tow and some understanding of the premise. However, Chris’ natural storytelling ability matched with his deadpan humour is first class and proved to be beyond my expectations.
Chris makes it clear throughout that his show is not a hit piece on Scarlett Johansson but rather a peer critique. That doesn’t mean that the comments aren’t pointed.
While the audience laughs at the outrageous blonde and black wigs he’s donning or are outraged by the casual racism from his formative years of his career, Chris undauntedly switches between Chris as Scarlett and Scarlett as Chris, recounting Scarlett’s career choices versus the barriers Chris has faced throughout his career as a gay Chinese man.
There was a moment near the end where Chris’ recorded voice kept talking over himself on stage that I thought the show had begun to unravel. It seemed disconnected from the rest of the show, purposely off-script and off-kilter. However, near the end of that skit I caught on and realised that this moment of being talked over tied the message of the show together.
You can tell that Chris Grace has professional acting training and experience across mediums. His comic timing is impeccable and the interconnection between each joke and callback was smooth. The message relayed both subtly and outright is clear: as Scarlet said, every actor should be able to play any character, but not until every actor can play any character.
No one is stopping ScarJo from acting as a tree, however.
A spectacularly funny and poignant show that takes gripe at the disparity in Hollywood casting – you don’t want to miss this one.
Find out more about the show at https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/chris-grace-as-scarlett-johansson
Read more reviews on Scottish Field’s Fringe pages.
Plus, don’t miss the September issue of Scottish Field magazine.