Altamont by John Stenhouse
Venue: C Nova
There seem to be a lot of one-man shows at the Fringe this year, and the one we pick – Altamont – was written and performed by John Stenhouse for Peppermint Muse. It’s told from the first-person viewpoint of American music fan Joe, who gets caught up in the burgeoning horror as the last great hippy festival of the 60s turns murderous.
It’s testament to the talent of middle-aged actor John Stenhouse that he manages to evoke all this purely through words and body language. There’s little in the way of multimedia assistance beyond some simplistic lighting, a few costume changes and the odd snatch of music, and the script tells us nothing new – but every character comes vibrantly alive, from horrified innocent to drug casualty to vicious Hell’s Angel.
Stenhouse is a well-built man of a certain age, but his brief impression of a young Mick Jagger, imprisoned on his own stage while the world falls apart around him, is physically accurate and uncannily moving.
Perhaps allied to a second solo performance piece of a similar length (it lasts abut an hour), this would make a great touring production.