Umbrella Man

Aug 24 2019 | By More

★★★★☆  Aye, amusing, man!

Summerhall (Venue 26): Wed 31 July – Sun 26 Aug 2019
Review by Federica Balbi

Duke wants to demonstrate the Earth is flat in Umbrella Man, Teuchter Company’s funny and sweet story performed by Colin Bramwell at Summerhall until the end of the Fringe.

After all, there it is on the canvas of Duke’s umbrella, a map of the world on which he can draw his journey from Edinburgh to Cambodia…

Colin Bramwell. Pic: Todd Richter

Colin Bramwell’s writing, songs and poetry all flow into this long, witty monologue, in which he keeps the tone light with a persistent sense of mockery. It could be a stand-up comedy, if it weren’t so creative…

Aye, in Scotland it rains all the time. Aye, there’s water everywhere and you risk drowning. Throughout his smart, inoffensive text, Bramwell makes gentle self-mockery of the Scottish identity. Aye, Highlands. Sound.

What is clear from the beginning is that Bramwell has a great breadth of precise comedy, and even if many jokes are ʻlocalʼ, there is plenty to amuse a non-native audience. Thanks to its diversity, the play has a good rhythm and is always surprising, right to the end.


The stage is sculpted by light changes, which contribute to the passage from one moment to the next. The text is built on the interesting mechanism of palinody: if the first song is serious, the second is not at all; if the first poem resounds with music and a fusion with nature, the second degenerates into a monstrous, exhilarating piece of writing.

From one joke to the next, this gentleman in a suit and flip-flops, raises questions in the back of our minds. What is he doing there? Why does he state the Earth is flat? Why is he not wearing shoes? Answers come along with the narrative which, in the meantime, gives the sense of a search for something, until it guides you gently into the moving finale.

Exceptionally well written and performed, this funny play produced by Teuchter Company will be remembered as an hour of fun and, on top of all, amazement.

Running time: 1 hour (no interval)
Summerhall, 1 Summerhall, EH9 1PL (Venue 26)
Wednesday 31 July – Sunday 25 August 2019
Daily (not Wed 7, Mon 12, Tue 20) at 10 am
Tickets and details:
Facebook: @TeuchterCompany
Twitter: @Teuchterz


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