FRINGE REVIEW – The Truman Capote Talk Show, Bob Kingdom

*****

5 – 30 Aug 1600 (1715) @ Assembly Hall, the Mound

By Danielle Farrow

Even without having seen Bob Kingdom as Dylan Thomas, even without any idea of what Truman Capote (author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood) may have looked like or how he might have behaved, it is plain to everyone attending this show that they are watching a consummate actor becoming, and then being, his subject. This intriguing character, who keeps referring to complexities as ‘simple’, simply takes over the stage and then conquers the entire space.
 
Extravagant mannerisms are not exaggerated props adopted for mere demonstration – every distinct movement of hand or tongue, every strange note of voice, is formed from within the character and as deeply rooted as the neuroses and talent of Capote himself. Also, the content is as mesmerizing as the presentation. This dissection of Capote – treating him as he did others, though probably with more love – is lavishly strewn with his own devastating ‘bon mots’ and leaves one wondering how much of the script is quotation and how much Kingdom’s own creation. That one simply cannot tell is part of the exceptionally high quality performance and riveting grip with which Kingdom / Capote hooks his audience, actually drawing people forward in their seats.
 
Such a performance, with its emotional truth, wit and elegance, really needs another writer of genius to describe it – but even if there were one available, you should still go and see it for yourself. Simple.

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