Fringe: Bringing prohibition USA to Edinburgh

For those that don’t know the work of Damon Runyon he was a short story writer that encapsulated the prohibition era in America.

His colourful characters were gangster and hustlers with wonderful 1930’s names such as Harry The Horse and Good Time Charlie. Runyon’s work is best known as the basis to the musical Guys and Dolls. This production is based on another two of his short stories.

As soon as the lights went down and the performance started I was transferred from a sunny morning in Edinburgh to mid-town New York to be regaled by the story of an eating competition.

The characters are wonderfully portrayed by three very able and talented character actors. The writing of Runyon is witty, descriptive and when delivered by this trio create the narration and conversation of the jazz era.

The second story is set in a derelict mid-town apartment in New York, the star is Johnny One Eye.

The story was told and acted with such realism that I could hear the police sirens, the noise of the canyons of New York and almost smell the cigarette smoke. This from a production with no props is quite an accomplished achievement.

Guys, Dolls & Pies, George Square Studio 3, 11am, Assembly

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