Richard Purnell is a spoken word artist and poet who is also a Free Fringe regular. He usually teams up with fellow performer Gary From Leeds, but this year he has gone solo with his theatre show Bathtime.
The story follows philanderer Harry and his suffering wife Sarah. Their relationship is a complicated one, however Harry likes to live an uncomplicated life. He is happiest soaking in a luxurious bath, surrounded by bubbles, while reading a Muriel Spark book. As the performance progresses Sarah and Harry’s relationship becomes even more complex and Harry’s bathtime is interrupted by the unfortunate death of his wife. The show could easily transform into a murder mystery, but instead the audience experiences the backstory behind the death. This storytelling decision is a bold and apt one. Purnell can hold an audience’s attention with his words and can weave nuance out of a straight forward story with his endearing personality.
Richard Purnell performs the show by himself and takes on the persona of several characters throughout the performance. With his words Purnell makes the audience forget that we are in a packed out room within the C Nova building. His background in spoken word is obvious, as he delivers the script in poetic verses and the lines flow from his lips with ease. Purnell believes that there are three kinds of people in this world. Bath people, shower people and those who enjoy both. With Bathtime I’m sure he has converted several shower people into full time bathers and entertained the audience with an enjoyable show at the same time.