The Silencer – David Calvitto
3 stars ***
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
DAVID CALVITTO of New York is one of the most admired and acclaimed solo actors on the Edinburgh Fringe; and he certainy sets himself a tough challenge in this new monologue by Rachel Neuburger, set out there in the badlands where those who are still single over 30 – or 40, or even 50 – try to find love through online dating sites. Lurking behind the play is the near-universal fear that anyone who is still single in middle life must be weird, impossible, or seriously disturbed; and the character Calvitto develops through this one-hour soliloquy gradually morphs before our eyes from a decent fortysomething guy just looking for a partner – and encountering some very strange women along the way – into something much more sinister.
It’s a fine and chilling performance, brilliantly directed by Michael Sexton of NY Public Theater. In the end, though, it’s surprisingly hard to feel that it carries any real meaning, beyond a fashionable fascination with the ultimate act of violence. Because people looking for love in their forties are not all nuts; and the purpose of art is to do something more radical than reinforce the kinds of fears nurtured by the junk media, every day of our lives.
Until 26 August