Inspector Norse


‘Inspector Norse’ should appeal to anyone who bemoans the ‘good old days’ of late seventies and early eighties Fringe shows before things got too honed and it all became too business like and serious. Lip Service-Sue Ryding and Maggie Fox- seem to be of that old guard  and whilst no doubt the are serious about what they are doing-as well as charging serious money to see their show- I somehow could not take the thing seriously at all. It aimed for surreal but settled for self consciously kooky. Not that it is all bad however, several moments did actually make me laugh, but considering the standard which is out there it all felt a bit lightweight and unfinished.

 Billing itself as a self assembly Swedish Crime Thriller-in homage to and pastiche of the dark, complex TV hit ‘The Killing’- I kind of got the measure of the production from the early moment when the audience were all asked to wave knitted leaves in the air to denote Spring. Amusement however was gleaned from noisily eating crisp-breads to signify the crunching sound made from walking in snow and admittedly Fox’s attempt at a Swedish accent when playing Freya Johansson was amusing-for the first five minutes- but it was a joke which became overplayed and slightly wearing. Talking of wearing the fisherman’s knitted sweater joke –another nod to Sarah Lund- was also trundled out several times to diminishing results.

 The story was based on a reclusive pop star- Agnetha from Abba would appear to be the source material here- reporting a dead body in her barn. The case is assigned to Sandra Larsson who has personal travails as well as work issues to contend with. The plot unravels like a ball of yarn and there really is no point in trying to make too much sense of it as it as it contains more holes than a worn out ,fisherman’s or otherwise, sweater eventually resulting in a  faux sword fight-the act of dramatic desperation in my observation- with walking sticks.

 This is not essentially a bad show but simply one that overstretches an idea, which in reality is a fifteen minute sketch at mos,t and drags it out for an hour. The performers obviously possess some talent but they decide instead to go for cheap laughs and obvious jokes. As said before it felt extremely dated but I must admit the woman seated directly in front of me found the whole thing hilarious. Mind you she looked as if she hadn’t had a night out in twenty odd years anyway: it wouldn’t have taken Sarah Lund to work that one out as it was the knitwear which gave that away!


 Inspector Norse is at Assembly George Square at 4,20pm until August 25th

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