About a Goth is a wonderfully unconventional coming of age story, full of tongue in cheek drama that fits perfectly into a Saturday night at the fringe.
Nick is a teenage goth who is struggling to establish himself in a world which makes ‘goth’ and ‘gay’ seem like two very conflicting identities. In the story of his growing up he tells us, through witty anecdotes and eye rolls at the futility of it all (!), of his encounters with old people’s homes, The Sugababes and medieval re-enactments.
The play is written by Tom Wells and performed as a one man show by Clement Charles. Charles’ delivery and Wells’ words come together to create a wonderful eccentricity, surprising us with every corner it turns. Humour ranges from the subtle to the outrageous, but it only occasionally delivers real belly laughs. Its comedy is sophisticated for all its quirkiness, inspiring knowing chuckles in the audience and pointing out the funny side of the struggle that is adolescence. The monologue is full of witty observations and commentary on human behaviour, achieving an intelligent comedy that is at times surprisingly reminiscent of an Alan Bennett play, with its fond portrayals of the silliness of human experience. Think Talking Heads but with eyeliner, blue hair and Britney.
The eccentric Nick is well acted by Clement Charles, who delivers brilliant comic timing as well as hilariously dramatic dancing. Charles is also tasked with representing each character met by Nick, and he demonstrates his versatility in doing so with hilarity and charm. Among his characters are his very straight friend Greg, an offensive old man, and his parents, whom he resents deeply for their acceptance of him. The characterisation of each of these characters is polished and satirical, poking gentle fun at everyone and everything in Nick’s life.
Though the play is fun and outlandish throughout, it ends up delivering a touching message of self-acceptance and honesty, as Nick’s constructed shield is shed by the play’s closing lines. The play is a hilarious romp through growing up, delivering us all of the undignified moments, poignant realisations and irrational irritation that adolescence is made up of.
About A Goth is played at theSpace at Surgeons Hall until August 19. For more information and tickets, go to https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/about-a-goth