Laughing Horse @ The Counting House
Saturday 5th August 20.30
Well, I have seen a lot of shows over the years, starting in 1986 and I can honestly say I have never seen a show like it.
New York comedian Lewis Schaffer has been an Edinburgh comedian for many years, although I had never previously seen him. However, I was intrigued (and a little concerned) by this year's premise "Unopened Letters From My Mother". A goodish sized audience duly gathered at the Counting House to hear him unveil the story of his relationship with his parents and his sister and how he moved to London while his mother ended up alone in nursing home.
During the last years of her life she sent Lewis a variety of letters, which until this festival remained unopened. So, in an
attempt to win an award he decided to open one every night of the run and deal with the consequences on stage. What
could possibly go wrong?
The run had started well and he was happy with the previous night's show though this convinced him tonight's show would
go badly which naturally, was what transpired. His concern was transmitted to the audience and this quickly became a
tense affair. The moment he opened the letter you could tell his emotions were getting the better of him and this wasn't
turning into the fun Saturday evening people were hoping for and some audience members left.Those that remained soon
became a support team for the struggling comedian who started to ask us directly what he should do, both tonight and
This clearly doesn't belong in the comedy section but I feel this is a piece people should see. The rawness on display,
which I suspect is not matched anywhere else in the festival, (although Michelle Shocked comes close) and Lewis's
bravery should be rewarded by a supportive audience as this man clearly needs our love.
(Oddly while composing a tweet in the Press Office about the shows whose voice should I hear behind me but Mr Shaffer. The man clearly has magical powers, another reason to head to the Counting House to see him).
Hopefully, from this review you will have gathered this show isn't for everyone, but my friend didn't enjoy it. But, if you fancy something on the edge this is the show for you!
Lewis Schaffer is performing Unopened Letters From My Mother
at Laughing Horse @ The Counting House (Venue 170) until August 27th