The Orchid and the Crow



Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh

In a hard-to-categorise show, Australian musician and cancer survivor, Daniel Tobias offers a meditation on a variety of subjects: the Jewish Faith, Father Christmas, Lance Armstrong and testicular cancer. These may seem unlikely bed fellows but it’s all expertly stitched together and along the way we are offered songs in a variety of styles – some jaunty rock n roll, a cabaret-style piece with a guest appearance from God and most effective of all, an Italian aria about the loss of one of the artist’s testicles, accompanied by a short film. It’s a quirky collection of ideas, never less than entertaining and in several places, it’s surprisingly informative – did you know, for instance that the word ‘orchid’ and the word ‘testicle’ have the same etymology? No? Me neither.

This show was a winner at the Ottawa Fringe Festival and it’s not hard to see why. Tobias has a likeable stage presence, and a decent voice, while the illustrative songs, written with various collaborators are of a suitably high standard to please the pickiest of crowds. If you’re looking for something a bit different than the usual Fringe fare, this would be a good bet.

4 stars

Philip Caveney

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