I’ve seen a lot of authors in the flesh and most of the time, no matter how much they enjoyed meeting their public, they were still authors performing in public.

The first time that I saw Alan Bissett, it was clear he was not just an author. Whilst nominally doing a reading from one of his books, there was something about Bissett’s performance which suggested that he loved being in front of an audience.

But Friday’s penultimate performance of The Red Hourglass was the first time I’d had the chance to see Bissett the performer rather than Bissett the author.

The Red Hourglass is a solo show with Bissett delivering a number of monologues in character – as five spiders and a wasp.

From the gadgie house spider to the seductive Black Widow, Bissett carries the show convincingly with his charisma … and a pair of black high heeled boots.

By and large the show’s played for laughs but as a counterpoint there are a couple of chilling moments. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable hour,  which confirms Bissett’s star quality.

Of course as I‘m writing this a couple of days after the final performance, you can’t catch the show again at the Fringe because the run is now finished. But Alan will be taking the show out and about in the autumn.

Falkirk, Town Hall – 19th September
Banchory, Woodend Barn – 20th September
St Andrews, Byre Theatre – 3rd – 6th October
Bathgate, Regal – 24th October
Inverness, Eden Court – 26th October
Glasgow, The Arches – 13th/14th November

There may be more but I haven’t found the dates all in the one place yet.

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