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Theatre Review: The Greatest Play in the History of the World... ***

Michael Cox reviews a 'delightful' production with a charming performance.

The Greatest Play in the History of the World… is a rather ambitious title for a play that can best be described as a delightful ditty.

Using a collection of shoes to stand in for characters, an actor—played with contagious charm by Julie Hesmondhalgh—tells the story of a small group of people who find that they are frozen in time: 04.40am to be precise. Through the course of an hour, we are told about past events each has endured. All of this is juxtaposed with stories about the famous ‘Golden Record’ that was launched into space with Voyagers 1 & 2.

That all might sound rather heavy-handed, but it is far from. Ian Kershaw’s monologue is a light affair, one that has no problem going into subplots with side characters and illustrating digressions from the main story. Some of it might ramble and feel like it could use a bit of an edit, but Hesmondhalgh is absolutely charming, appearing to enjoy telling the story as much as we enjoy hearing it.

The Greatest Play in the History of the World… is performing at the Traverse Two until August 26th.

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