Szgrabble! is a Communist themed one-man Bond movie, with scrabble as a knowing and silly metaphor for cold war chess. It’s character comedy, with unfortunately wandering accents, that’s backed up by a humorous and confident performance. Hall is accompanied throughout by a pianist playing the theme tunes to 80s movies and 8-bit computer games, one of the real highlights.

There’s some intentional over-acting, backed by a slew of jokes stemming from his bad mime or neat observations based on the one-man theatre genre. This results in more than a few groan-able punchlines but Hall’s sense of fun never feels insincere.

Szgrabble! ultimately suffers from the problem that it’s just a little too long-winded, with certain sections feeling far too contrived to have the required impact. A fine effort that doesn’t quite hit the heights of its Fringe competition.

Words: Tom Crosby

Nick Hall: Szgrabble! T-Bar, Aug 21-27, 3:30pm

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