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Steen Raskopoulos: Stay

at Underbelly Cowgate

* * * * -

An engaging and entertaining performer whose otherwise light-hearted show comes with a darker twist

Image of Steen Raskopoulos: Stay

Steen Raskopoulos begins his one-man sketch show by showing off some impressive dance moves and encouraging the audience to clap along. This not only gets the audience in the mood for the upcoming whirlwind of characters and sketches that Raskopoulos will impress on them, but also prepares them for the level of audience interaction that is to come.

To say that Raskopoulos “interacts” with the audience is an understatement. He interrogates them, cajoles them and actively engages them, going through all the rows to select participants in his quest to recreate a medieval court, with one lucky audience member being taken up on stage to dance with him. Meanwhile, another more unlucky punter is quizzed by Raskopoulos’ psychiatrist character using word association and inkblot tests – fortunately he manages to get through the tests by being just as funny as Raskopoulos in his answers!

However, Raskopoulos doesn’t just rely on his rapport with the audience to get laughs, as can be seen in the wide range of characters that he becomes onstage. From The Bad Boy of Yoga to a phoenix in a burns unit, Raskopoulos uses minimal props and no makeup to provide his characters with individual personalities and darts between them without pausing, creating a sense of fluidity that keeps up the fast pace of the show.

This comes to an end at the show’s climax, when Raskopoulos drops his characters and improvisations and speaks as himself, revealing a personal event that happened to him last year. While this sobering moment receives one or two moments of foreshadowing earlier in the show, the sudden tonal shift followed by the show abruptly ending shortly afterwards is more than a little jarring. Raskopoulos deserves praise for being willing to talk about what he has gone through, but its inclusion in a largely light-hearted show does result in an awkward conclusion that leaves the audience with little room to process what they have just seen.

 


Adam is a budding film reviewer who is still working out how to use his Masters in Film Studies from Aberystwyth University. His main hobby is watching films, especially Hong Kong action cinema, although he has no (actual) knowledge of martial arts whatsoever! His other interests include stand-up comedy, but only as an audience member, and reading books about film. His quest to obtain a social life is still ongoing...

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