Directed by Jeremy Stockwell, All Hell Toupee is a satirical comedy which tells the story of Christina, a Los Angeles beauty aesthetician who has come to Edinburgh to sell you the best ‘hair wear’ in America. She brags about her celebrity lifestyle and friends in higher places, but as the play continues she turns shy and scared as she shares with the audience that her husband, Carlos, is in trouble with both the police and Russian gangsters.
Actress Kate Bowes Renna (Love Actually, Peaky Blinders) does an excellent job of transforming herself in this one woman show, appearing as both Christina, Carlos. She throws into the mix Christina and Carlos’ maid – a Trump supporter from Mexico – and a Russian killing machine who does more than just throw his spanner into the mix.
Renna becomes each character effortlessly, although the costume changes often slow down the piece as a whole. Despite this slight setback in the production, and a few dated references which pass over the audience’s head, Renna’s energy never wavers, thus managing to hold the audience’s attention all the way to the end.
Even with some slightly awkward audience participation, All Hell Toupee is an enjoyable piece of theatre that may be more relatable to a mature audience. If you like free guacamole, and often wonder whom we can trust in this cruel world full of fake news, then All Hell Toupee is an ideal stop off on your Fringe journey.
Words: Miriam Larrainzar
All Hell Toupee, Gilded Balloon at Rose Theatre, Aug 2-13 (not 7, 8), 2.15pm