Words by Suzy Romer
King Rodolfo is taking over the Queen Dome at the Pleasance this year and it’s a marvel to behold. Since his last Fringe incarnation as a priest in 2019, Ciarán Dowd’s dazzling character has become a high-handed monarch, but how did he become king? Can he take his power to new heights? What’s his morning routine? All our questions are answered with a mix of bravado, beautifully spoken nonsense, and cheeky asides from this Spanish(-ish) lord among men.
We quietly tuck our moral compasses in our back pockets as we watch a handsomely dressed alpha male who doesn’t cross the line so much as trip over it while he lords it over all and sundry. Only Ciarán Dowd could provide enough sparkling charm to undermine the excesses of this hellbent charlatan so we can enjoy his violent triumphs and failures with equal relish.
Rodolfo’s behaviour as a deadbeat dad provides some poignant comedy that I can just about forgive since it goes somewhere dramatic, but the discomfort is a reminder that the Fringe is about taking characters apart properly before laughing at them from a safe distance.
Georgie Jones and Philippa Carson from the Just These Please sketch group provide sterling support and there are other delights I won´t reveal because they deserve to be savoured fresh. Suffice it to say that you´re in for some royal entertainment.
9.50pm | Pleasance Dome (Queen Dome) | until 28 August (not 17)