Holden Street Theatres
Holden Street Theatres
Until 17 Mar 2019

Review by Anthony Vawser

Presented at the 2019 Adelaide Fringe Festival

If the very existence of a ‘Fringe Festival’ is intended to encourage risk-taking in theatre, then Sam Redway’s quite remarkable performance (directed by Tyrrell Jones) has found an ideal home in Adelaide during Mad March. Do not attend this show unless you’re prepared to be confronted and challenged. You will hopefully also come away feeling both educated and entertained, but in a very unusual manner.

The title will surely attract many curious punters who will wonder whether they’ll be in for a literal impersonation of Osama bin Laden, ala Heath Franklin’s Chopper Read shows. Rest assured, what Sam Redway achieves here is not cheap parody or cruel exploitation. It may fairly be described as belonging to the general tradition of socially-conscious political satire, but rarely does theatrical satire feel quite so impassioned and researched and detailed as this.

“Bin Laden: The One Man Show” is the kind of experience to which one’s response will likely be very complex, perhaps even conflicted and tangled. This reviewer could likely spend a week or longer in an attempt to sort out just what are the best and fairest words that could describe it – so he’ll leave you with three: see this show.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)