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The Pat Hobby Stories

August 8, 2019 | By | Reply More

★★★★☆  Bittersweet tales beautifully performed

Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14): July 31 – Aug 26 2019
Review by Joy Watters

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s later short stories are given a suitably bittersweet telling by Paul Birchard for Fringe Management, at the Gilded Balloon Teviot’s Sportsman room for the whole fringe.

Fitzgerald’s novels put him in the forefront of twentieth century fiction but in the last years of his life, as the good times ceased to roll, his attention turned to the short story. The Pat Hobby Stories written in 1939 and 1940 draw on his own experience working for Universal Studios and the pitfalls of the movie industry.

Paul Birchard

The tales, performed here by L.A. born actor Paul Birchard, employ a comedy soaked in disappointment to chart the downfall of Hobby’s writing career.

Birchard who left Hollywood to base himself in Glasgow has gift for storytelling. He makes an instant connection as the lights go up drawing the audience into the precarious world of Tinseltown.

In the course of five tales we see Hobby as he struggles for work, being given the cold shoulder by once friendly producers and even getting the bum’s rush from security at gates of film lots.

booze soaked hack

It is bitterly humorous and Birchard handles the transition between the moods of Hobby with consummate ease. Scheming, drinking, bitterly hating others’ success ( the story involving Orson Welles is particularly hilarious as Hobby’s bile gushes out).

The booze soaked hack is not adverse to wearing disguises which land him in some ridiculous situations.

A carefully judged one-man show, directed by Michele Waering with original music by Alan Lawrence, it seems a shame it has to end.

Running time: One hour (no interval)
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Teviot Row House, EH8 9AJ (Venue 14)
Thursday 31 – Monday 26 August 2019
Daily (not 12, 19): 1.30pm.
Tickets and detail: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/pat-hobby-stories

Fringe Management website: https://fringemanagement.co.uk/

ENDS

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