This was a show
that I wanted to see last year having heard many good reviews about it, but
didn’t have the time to go to. I think the time I tried to get tickets it was
sold out already. However, this year it’s back so I made sure to go see what all
the fuss was about. And it certainly lived up to the hype!
The Only Way Is
Downton is a one-man impressionist show, in which Luke Kempner moves seamlessly
between characters. The story revolves around Downton Abbey, but also dips into
other popular shows such as The X Factor, The Great British Bake Off and
Pointless. The only critique I would have (and it isn’t really a critique at
all, just something true of all impressions) is that if you aren’t familiar
with Downton Abbey and its characters, you may not find it as entertaining. I’m
a fan of the show though, so I thoroughly enjoyed this.
First of all, the
impressions were spot on. I was able to easily recognise and distinguish
between all the characters, as Kempner provided different accents and
mannerisms for them all. The Dowager Countess, Lady Mary and Andy Murray were
some of my personal favourites. The storyline was also great though, cleverly
interweaving the different shows and throwing in references to the fact that
they are just TV shows. The humour and the way the jokes were written was
excellent as well, leaving me in fits of giggles during the whole performance.
I went with a
friend who saw the show last year, and she assured me that while some things
remained the same, there were plenty of new elements to it, meaning she was
able to enjoy it greatly and not feel like she knew exactly what was coming up
next all the time. She also said she felt it was better this year, the
additions having enhanced the show.
This show is different to others I’ve
seen at the Fringe before, given that I tend to go for stand-up comedians and
improvised acts much of the time. I wasn’t very sure what to expect or whether
I would enjoy it, but now I’m very glad that I went. The show was hilarious,
and Kempner is very talented at what he does and has created something that I
feel is quite unique in amongst the throngs of other Fringe acts. A definite
recommendation, for Downton Abbey fans in particular.