C-90, Traverse Theatre/Twinkle Little Star, Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh

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Over the past few years, the Perrier Award-winning comedian Daniel Kitson has also developed a storytelling strand. I was in a minority in not being charmed by last year’s Stories for the Wobbly Hearted, but with C-90 Kitson has less to prove, and is growing ever more assured in this side of his work. The single hour-long story tells of Henry, who works in a “facility” cataloguing, but not listening to, unwanted compilation tapes. On his final day at work (as the mix tape becomes obsolete), he receives a tape of his own from an anonymous sender and sets about trying to identify him or her. As Kitson interweaves Henry’s investigation with observations of Millie, the village lollipop lady also on her last day, and other tape recipients, he makes fine use of the vocal and gestural idiom he has developed for his story- telling as distinct from his stand-up work. ★★★★☆

A different kind of first- person story is recounted by the protagonist of Philip Meeks’ Twinkle Little Star, an ageing pantomime dame forced to play second fiddle to an arrogant reality-TV “star”. What begins as queen-bitchery develops into a sadder autobiographical tale with a daft black twist. The show is advertised as starring Christopher Biggins, but arrangements have changed. In fact, the actor Tim Healy adds a further dimension by making full use of the contrast between camp orotundity and earthy Geordie. This is the kind of unpretentious gem that will never disappoint. ★★★★☆

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