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FRINGE REVIEW: jem rolls - one man riot

Don’t let the synopsis fool you. Yes, British performance poet and seminal Fringe fave Jem Rolls spiels about the 1990 London Poll-Tax Riot. And yes, he gets around to revealing whether it’s a ghost story. But that’s just a front: if you’re listening, Rolls makes clear that it’s really about the nature of performance itself. It doesn’t matter what he’s saying, it’s about how well he says it. And Rolls is like the best-ever bullshitting storyteller down at the pub, elevated to the level of near-art. He’s also a gifted physical performer: when he mentions how he felt he grew taller, by God, he really looks like he grows several inches taller. And at times his presence seemingly breaks through to another dimension, like when you put on 3-D movie glasses. It’s also fun to watch his sweat stain spread until it’s consumed his whole shirt. Yet he still makes it all seem so effortless.

Four out of five stars.

more in Fringe Reviews     |     posted Aug 15th, 2010 at 8:22pm     

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