BY RICHARD STAMP
It’s a real Marmite show, this one; we can’t be sure if you’ll love it or hate it, but we promise you won’t have seen its like before. Billed as a cowboy tale set in the Arctic, it’s a curious one-man adventure, featuring a talking moose head and an invisible polar bear. But it’s also an intriguing psychological drama: touching, funny and thoughtful, too.
The plot revolves around Chester James, an Aussie bush-man and author who, we find, is stranded in a bunker near the North Pole. As the play develops, though, we learn that Chester’s exile is partly self-imposed – and as the fragmentary memories of his past life are revealed like the clues in a detective story, we piece together a compelling tale of stellar success gone sour.
We saw A Fistful Of Snow at May’s Brighton Fringe, where actor Danny Alder won the prestigious Latest 7 “Oscar” for the best male performer. We were equally impressed by the writing, too. “It’s a cleverly self-referential plot,” we said, “which blurs the boundaries of invention and reality … even by the end of it all, you won’t be sure you’ve quite pieced together what was really going on.”
But first and foremost, this is a very funny show – with the offbeat detours of Chester’s mind including song-and-dance numbers and, yes, that talking moose. So abandon your expectations, keep an open mind… and maybe you’ll find the oddball highlight of your Fringe.