Every now and then something happens at the Festival that truly demonstrates what great theatre is all about. These really rare pieces remind us that we go to the theatre hear stories in voices we’ve never heard, or to get right inside the heart of someone we’ve never seen, or to find ourselves swept up into a world where we’ve never been. And when theatre is working like this, we come face to face with an imagined world that can speak to our passions, rekindle in us a sense of what is important and make us realise that whatever else is going on in our lives -- we’re not alone.
Stan Strickland’s dazzlingly musical and wonderfully inventive performance is this kind of theatre. Constructed around a near-death experience, Strickland is so phenomenally alive and so full of heart and musical genius that one can only be profoundly grateful that he was spared to bring this story to Edinburgh. One man show it may be, but Coming Up for Air is packed full of people, volcanoes, papaya smoothies, and glorious, soul-deep music. Drop whatever you are doing and go see this production now. It is an absolute delight.