City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Truman Capote Talk show

By Vivien Devlin - Posted on 14 August 2007

Show details
Richard Jordan Productions
Running time: 
Bob Kingdom (writer)
Bob Kingdom (Truman Capote)

The Truman Capote Talk Show, written and performed by Bob Kingdom was first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1994, winning a Fringe First Award for best new play. It has toured the world, not least for a successful season on Broadway. Now in 2007, a year which has seen two movies about Capote, (including the Oscar winning Philip Seymour Hoffman), it's timely for a revival. Even if you have never read a word of Capote, we all seem to be in love with Audrey Hepburn through her exquisite portrayal as Holly Golightly in the film, "Breakfast at Tiffany's". So who is the man behind this iconic story.

To a musical introduction of New York, New York, Kingdom strolls on to the stage, immaculately dressed in perfectly pressed slacks, a brown jacket, black hat, mauve roll top sweater with matching socks and shiny patent shoes. This is the starting point, describing his smart, cool fashion sense. He lounges on a black leather swivel chair, his feet not touching the ground (Capote was 5 ft 4). He speaks precisely, slowly, a blend of the writer's native Southern country boy and adopted New York city accents, with a high pitched tone. The theme of his Talk show is an exploration of his life - man, boy and myth. The narrative follows the four ages of being a celebrity: Who is Truman Capote, Get me Truman Capote, Get me someone like Truman Capote, Who is Truman Capote.

Languidly, proudly, passionately he talks about his favourite subject - himself. Occasionally he stretches his arm across his chest, caressing the neck of his sweater, his wrist limp and loose. Kingdom captures the private and public aspects of the man - the creative genius ("I wrote with my ear .. Norman Mailer called me one of the best writers of my generation") his self-absorbed conceit as well as his excessive vulnerability. Through anecdotes, stories, gossip, we realise that celebrity stardom for Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and himself, has a cruel negativity, creating "compulsive souls," an addiction to attention approval.

This is an intimate, witty, heartbreaking, rollercoaster journey from childhood prodigy, early literary fame and fortune to the long, lonely downhill road of self-destruction. Truman Capote was described as a perfectionist. In this exquisitely written and performed portrayal, so is Bob Kingdom.

Show times: odd dates until 26 August at 12.10. On even dates at 12.10, Bob Kingdom performs his Dylan Thomas play.