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A fantastic five star review for Howie the Rookie at Assembly Hall

Utterly exceptional –  this is possibly the finest performance that the Fringe has to offer.

Howie the Rookie

Assembly on the Mound ✭✭✭✭✭

If there is only time to see one play in Edinburgh, then Howie the Rookie should be that one. This is a stunning tour-de-force solo performance by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, surely one of the most exciting and thrilling actors of his generation. Rare it is to find a marriage of text and performance so perfectly executed with breathtaking precision and clarity. Vaughan-Lawlor offers a virtuoso marriage of his physicality with writer Mark O’Rowe’s brutal poetry, juxtaposing an elegance of movement with the alarmingly violent lyricism of the electrifying text. Two intertwining tales of Dublin gangland are brought thrillingly to life, each as blunt and dangerous as they are musical and romantic. This is astonishingly brutal poetry in performance. Utterly exceptional – the audience held their breath. Vaughan-Lawlor ricochets between a still silence and rabid, explosive rage, displaying a phenomenal range and tender appreciation for text and stagecraft. Every movement is so perfectly executed and graceful that it is almost scored, like a dance, or ballet. Howie the Rookie is an astonishing realisation of a taut, tense script – this is possibly the finest performance that the Fringe has to offer.