Reviews | Written by Ed Fortune 08/08/2022

Garry Starr Greece Lightning – Edinburgh Fringe

Greek myth is a main-stay of modern pop-culture these days. Action sci-fi movies are all about pantheons (such as The Avengers) and modern franchises such as Percy Jackson and Wonder Woman draw heavily on the old stories for inspiration and to lend a sense of ceremony and gravitas to the narrative. Garry Starr – Greece Lightning is a one-man comedy show that takes the familiar old stories and pokes fun at all of it in the silliest way.

It's relentlessly funny. The main premise is that the titular Garry Starr, a well-meaning idiot, is attempting to save ‘Greek’ by raising awareness. Of a country that’s been around for 5000 years.  To do this, Garry will tell the Greek myths in his own, very physical style.

We begin with Garry, as Zeus, arriving on the stage to the tune ‘Greased Lightning’ and the audience are encouraged to join in as foam lightning bolts are flung around. Props are handed out to any audience member who wants to join in. Each prop will become key to some gag or retelling as the show continues, and the appeal here is that there are simply so many very funny gags and scenes that it’s impossible not to be immersed in this very, very silly show.

Garry is excellent at drawing out the best in his audience; those who are inclined to join in will do so, often laughing throughout as they become involved in some clownish retelling of old tales, usually leading to a sequence of puns, spoonerisms or hilarious observation.

You will find yourself wondering what one or another prop is for, and it’s never what you expect and it’s always something madcap and unexpected. The sheer amount of energy poured into this show is impressive and it’s important to remember that while the character of Garry is an anarchic dolt, the performer is a brilliant professional at the peak of his game.

Some content warnings are required; as well as the (entirely optional) audience participation, you will see a lot more of Garry than you might expect, he is after all, taking on the role of various iconic mythic Greek figures. The show features nudity, including of the full-frontal variety, and that’s part of the humour and the vulnerable state of the character is sometimes what makes it funny.  If you don’t like naked bottoms, this is not for you.

For the rest of us however, this is a must-see show. Make the journey and get a ticket, you won’t regret it.

Garry Starr: Greece Lightning is on at the Underbelly, Cowgate, Edinburgh until the 28th of August. Click here for more info.