18 August 2007

Coffee Time

Owen Powell - The Two Closest Starbucks In Britain, Plesance

There should be a new section in the Fringe guide as Owen Powell's show should really be filed under "Trivia". Despite the lack of belly laughs, Powell's titular quest to locate two closest Starbucks in Britain keeps interest for an hour in the sweltering Plesance Oven, sorry, Cellar. Powell is behoven to PowerPoint, and uses it as skillfully as the (sadly absent this year) Will Smith to explain and enhance his story.
He states at the start of the show that he does not intend to make political points about the proliferation of Starbucks or the effects of globalisation and he keeps to his word for the most part - only hinting at an agenda during the reveal of the two closest branches - about which there is a twist to keep locals happy.
Powell intersperses his quest with testimony from Starbucks employees which seemed to be gems of "found" material until it was revealed that Powell had, in fact, made them up. This was disappointing but reveals a talent for creating Alan Bennett style dialogues of everyday life that is simultaneously humourous and melancholy. Not comedy but easily worth the price of two Grande Lattes.

NTW : Making up the testimony

JTD : Making up the testimony

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