There couldn’t be a more fitting space in which to experience Daniel Kitson’s latest piece of theatre than the Roundabout. The audience sits in a circle around him, looking inward and this play is also an inward-looking thing, about loneliness, theatremaking and Kitson’s own reputation and persona. In the centre of the room sit 15 iPod Shuffles, each hooked up to its own speaker. Kitson hands them out to various audience members and once they start to play, they create a web of voices, with Kitson in the middle. With immaculate timing he inserts himself, as the sole performer, into an increasingly intricate pre-recorded conversation.
Sold out, as ever, long before the beginning of the Fringe, the show feels like part of a longer road, with Kitson picking at familiar themes: metatheatricality, memory, ageing, isolation. It’s probably best read as part of a continuum. He unpicks the show itself while it’s happening, deconstructs his own creative process, worries about his own propensity to behave like a dickhead, and engages with the weight of expectation placed on him by his fans: the worship, the cult of Kitson. Polyphony is precise, intelligent and meticulous, if inevitably circular – but ultimately, and presumably intentionally, despite the ring of voices, it comes to feel like a man talking to himself.
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