Review: Daniel Kitson: This Show Has No Title, Traverse, Cambridge Street

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THE title of this show refers to the passing of the Fringe programme deadline, with the preview page of the Traverse programme describing the show entirely blank. Emerging to a bare set, Kitson clutches a sheaf of papers which contain the hitherto elusive show.

****

Envisioned, he claims, as a full production with cast, special effects and a stage – with rain – it turns out to be Kitson reading from said script, complete with stage directions and the names of characters before each line. Indeed, after 15 minutes or so, he gestures to the sheets of paper and says, “This is literally it”, in case any present are waiting for proper theatre to break out.

In fact, the piece combines three scripts, with asides, and seamless referencing between a fictional story of Maximillian Cathcart, a man who leaves things, and nurse Connie, a fictionalised Dan Kitson and his collaborator, Jen, and the stage persona of Kitson as narrator.

As a show-within-a-show-within-a-show (at least), it is a deconstruction of writing, performance and theatre that is full of craft, momentum, invention and outright hilarity. There is little point trying to write more about such an audacious masterclass other than, as the man himself says, you’ve been Kitson-ed.

• Until August 27