EdFringe 2022 Review: The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much

Voloz Collective delight with breezy espionage farce The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much playing at a very hot Jack Dome within the Pleasance Dome this Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The four actor company features on-stage musical accompaniment as they deliver a wonderfully playful Hitchcockian-inspired spy pastiche.

Roger, a French man in 1960s New York experiences the same work routine with little deviation, that is until his office is the target of fiery explosion. Throwing his ordinary life into chaos, Roger is drawn into solving the mystery of the attack, forcing him into a web of globetrotting espionage, assassinations and intergalactic pursuits.

The energy brought to the stage by the cast is admirable as they draw us into the high-stakes world of sixties espionage with a euphoric sense of fun and energy. The cast deliver lines at a rapid pace, each contributing to the on-stage ambience and fast-paced narrative even when not the focus. Whether crafting sound effects or moving into the shape of a prop, there is a real enjoyable bustle and buzz on stage with the performers conjuring up a cinematic feel in this imaginative, raucous production.

Given this level of energy and enthusiasm, it is very easy to get on board with The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much’s zany, nonsensical plot. Globe-trotting to Paris, London and New York, venturing into space, and high profile political assassinations all become part of the parcel of the piece which draws influence from Hitchcockian thrillers like North By Northwest, the over-the-top thrills of classic Bond, and a little Get Smart. Don’t stress too much over small plot details or looking for character logic, the joy of The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much is simply letting go and being washed over by the outrageous narrative developments and vibrant characters. Nonetheless, Voloz do successfully invest us in the narrative journey with several MacGuffins, red herrings and a twisting and turning plot structure.

Musical accompaniment by Frederick Waxman draws us further into the cinematic sixties setting, whilst wonderful characterisation from the cast presents moments of high energy fun in even the smaller supporting characters. Paul Lofferon is an impressive lead as Roger – packing a fast-paced physicality and undeniable debonair charm.

The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much is brimming with imagination and creative ingenuity, delivering rapid-fire entertainment in its madcap tale of mysery.

The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much plays at the Pleasance Dome until August 29th this Edinburgh Fringe. Get tickets here.

Photo: Olivia Zerphy

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