“Through a superbly crafted hour of storytelling, we are privileged to see Andy deliver across the board in a masterclass of thoroughbred character acting.”
Editorial Rating: 5 Stars (Outstanding)
Andy Linden has got one of those faces you’ve seen off the telly in everything from ‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie’ to ‘Not Going Out’ via ‘Drop The Dead Donkey’ and ‘Count Arthur Strong’. He is perhaps best known as Mundungus Fletcher in the Harry Potter movies. Mundungus who, you will no doubt recall, was one of the original members of the Order of the Phoenix, is a wizard who dwells in the Wizarding underworld, dealing in controlled substances and stolen merchandise. It’s the sort of part Andy has got a knack for – a little bit shaddy, a wee bit shifty, probably up to something, possibly possessed of a heart of gold. It makes Andy the ideal fit for the stage incarnation of Roy Granville’s auld skool racing tipster.
Through a superbly crafted hour of storytelling, we are privileged to see Andy deliver across the board in a masterclass of thoroughbred character acting. His Baxter, his friends and associates, are up, they’re down, but never entirely out. In the fell clutch of circumstance Baxter occasionally winces and often cries aloud emerging into the final stretch bloody, but unbowed from the bludgeonings of chance. Baxter is rarely his own best friend, but he’s possessed of an instinctual, furtive, feral cunning combined with a genuine love and insight into the sport of kings which somehow always gets him placed.
Not since John Mortimer put his doubts aside and let Leo McKern read for Rumpole of the Bailey (true story), has an actor seemed such a natural fit for a role. You’ll find yourself wanting to interrupt proceedings for Baxter’s tips for the 2:05 at Musselburgh next Thursday – will you win big or lose your shirt? You pays your money you make your choice. What impresses me most is Andy’s nimbleness and physicality. He’s earning his stabling fees, although he seems to have forgotten that only fools and horses work. Still, you definitely wouldn’t want to get in a boxing ring with him, especially after what you said about his beloved Spurs (the football team not the pointy cowboy accessories).
It’s standing room only, the word is out. Come for one of Britain’s best-known faces, stay for some of the best character acting anywhere this EdFringe. Exit having discovered yourself another Rumpole, another Wodehouseian gem. Get your coats on and go see this!
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