For an hour every night, Ciarán Dowd converts his venue into a box of delights. As soon as he fights his way onto stage, we are thrilled by his swishing sword, black frilled shirt and ravishing eye liner. Add in a Spanish accent (with Irish undertones), outrageous tales of derring do and a succession of filthy jokes and you have your evening made.
For anyone who has a hankering for a bit of Princess Bride, The Three Muskateers, Dangerous Liasons or Cyrano de Bergerac, this is an utter joy but he goes far beyond the format of any particular genre. Ciarán manages to simultaneously indulge every extravagant whim AND undercut his own cocky bravado with multiple layers of acting and jokes so pithy I wish I could memorise them and take them home. The pace of the show is phenomenal with wave after wave of new ideas, plot developments and theatrical devices, many of which are startlingly original and I say that with more than twenty five years of fantastic Fringe shows behind me.
You know you have attended an outstanding show when the audience spills into the fresh night air with energy and the vibrancy straight from the performer. I’d say we’d been Rodolfo’d but the man himself uses his name as a verb with a very different meaning. So rude. So good. Bravo señor!
Catch him if you can. Ciarán Dowd: Don Rodolfo is at the Pleasance Courtyard at 10.45pm until August 26.