Festival review: Mark Thomas: Bravo Figaro; Traverse Theatre

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Mark Thomas has brought many funny shows to Edinburgh. This is another. His stand-up skills are deployed to excellent effect throughout, but there is also so much more.

Well-written, thoughtful, moving and brilliantly performed, this is a tale of his complex relationship with his father.

Thomas senior was a violent brute of a man, every inch the ideological and temperamental opposite of Thomas himself, and yet with an apparently unlikely love for opera.

The first half of the show sets up this relationship, before shifting with the diagnosis of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and the gradual debilitation and indeed departure of this force of nature as a conscious being.

The finale refers to Thomas’ last attempt to connect with and say goodbye to his father with a parting gift of opera. Not sure that any of us fellow proles would have Thomas’ pull in getting the Royal Opera to come and play a living room in Bournemouth, but the resolution is genuinely moving.

Rating: * * * * *

• Until August 27