To spend an hour with amiable Australian storyteller Wil Greenway at the Fringe is to escape Edinburgh, to trade the hustle-bustle and the stress of the festival for something altogether calmer, folksier and more reflective. Even his show titles calm you down – 2016’s The Way the City Ate the Stars, 2017’s These Trees the Autumn Leaves Alone, and now Either Side of Everything.
Accompanied by musical duo Kathryn Langshaw and Will Galloway, Greenway – bare-footed, bushy-bearded, big-hearted – weaves a multi-stranded, time-hopping story full of coincidence and whimsy. Somewhere, two friends open up to each other on a long car journey. Somewhere else, a woman buries her beloved dog with a fig. And somewhere else, a beetle called Brian makes his weary way home.
Greenway, speaking in his gentle Antipodean brogue, allows these tangential stories to unfold slowly, stuffing them full of lyrical imagery and a gentle, genial wit, pondering death, time and love throughout. Aided by Langshaw and Galloway’s beautifully harmonised backing, he creates worlds of wonder for his rapt audience.
It really is utterly transporting – a crackling campfire of a storytelling show. I’m not sure there’s a wiser wordsmith in Edinburgh.