Butt Kapinski



Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

Butt Kapinski is a strange man. Called upon to investigate a series of murders, he embodies every  cliché of film noir: he stands beneath his portable streetlamp, pulls his trenchcoat around him, mimes an obligatory cigar – before regaling us with tales of life as an NY PI. The brainchild and alter-ego of American performer Deanna Fleysher, he is an oddly engaging creation, and the audience joins in willingly with this funny, interactive show.

Okay, so maybe it doesn’t dig as deeply as it could – several thought-provoking ideas are introduced and then left hanging – and the narrative, such as it is, could do with a more convincing pay-off. But it’s gutsy and it’s fun, and Fleysher works wonders with what the audience gives her. The character-exaggeration is pushed to extremes (those vocal contortions!) and has us laughing all the time. I can’t say more here without giving too much away, but this is a fascinating and unusual performance, well worth catching if you can. And don’t worry about being ‘picked on’ – the audience participation here is entirely voluntary, and Fleysher has perfected the skill of homing in on those who want to get involved.

4 stars

Susan Singfield


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