"A different perspective from Russia"
by Sascha Cooper for remotegoat on 27/05/19

Andrew Byron is known to many as the man who plays villains in well known films and TV shows, such as James Bond, Killing Eve and more. Here in this slick and comedic one man show, which he created himself from scratch looks at the other side of the story. What if in reality, the Russian is actually the good guy and us Brits are the real baddies? Given the fact we are in a huge transitional political era, let me just point out I am not classing us Brits as this, however 'The Good Russian' explores the prospect of something we are potentially guilty of... presuming the worst because a newcomer to the UK has a different accent, mixes up their words and may not know certain customs and traditions. This is done using the premise of a man who is trying to find his way in the world and have a new start, but not necessarily through the right channels to begin with.

Byron uses very little set and the tightest approach to mime and physical theatre portrayed on stage to date. He seamlessly switches between different characters and accents with ease and really makes the audience feel like he is not the only one on stage, which is extremely rare for a one man show such as this. The way in which he uses technology to indicate an official questioning him and to indicate where he is also adds a different layer to the action.

What is particularly powerful is the way in which the writing indicates the perfect mix of drama as he ends up in Devon homeless, and comedy when he uses malapropisms to the highest level you can take them. Misunderstandings of words are used so well here, plus you also got to know more about the Russian culture and in a roundabout way, got to know Byron himself. Part of 'The Good Russian' is autobiographical and the role he portrays is in many ways a personal tribute to someone he knows who took him under his wing when he first started exploring his roles he is well known for. This not only added a personal touch, but you also understood Byron's mindset and respect for all characters involved.

By far, although I have seen a lot of high standard shows this fringe, but 'The Good Russian' surpasses every single show in the fringe. It will get you thinking, laughing, crying and more. It's a show that will blow you away and Byron should be extremely proud of what he has achieved.

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