How to Win Against History is a whimsical, biographical musical about the cross-dressing Henry Cyril Paget, The Fifth Marquis of Anglesey. Paget leads a lavish lifestyle, dissipating his inheritance on furs and jewellery as he goes from riches to rags. Paget also converted the chapel by his family’s country estate into a theatre where he could perform in exuberant pantomimes and comical theatrical shows – putting himself, of course, in the leading role.
The black sheep of his blue blooded family, Paget never did fit in, and after his early death at the age of 29, his family erased any trace of him by burning his diaries and any known photos of him. In the witty script and score by Seiriol Davies, we see Paget fight for his past to remain, to make his mark in the world. The clever writing by Davies makes for comedy gold, and the trio of performers do the script justice with their impeccable comedic timing.
However, the downfall of the rapid dialogue is that every now and then some of it can be lost in the excitement, while some of the action is also missed as actors block other actors and keep their backs to the audience.
Overall though, the fast pace of the show works well and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It contains a plethora of gags which will have you doubled over with laughter, especially for the thespians among the crowds.
A melodramatic, over the top, gut busting evening.
Words: Rebecca Divine
How to Win Against History, Assembly George Square, Aug 3-28, 7:25pm