A star-studded Han solo show
SMALL PRINT:WHEN CHARLES Ross was growing up in rural Canada, where even the nearest neighbours where quite some distance away, his house had no television signal. But it did have three videotapes: the original Star Wars movie, the Shogun mini-series with the last 20 minutes missing, and the sexual awakening on a desert island flick The Blue Lagoon.
“Can you imagine a One-Man Blue Lagoon?,” says Ross. “I’m not sure that would have worked so well.”
Instead, as an eight-year-old, he watched Stars Wars so often that he could repeat it almost line for line, and his obsession was enough for his mother to worry it was doing him damage. Instead, it gave him a career. He has performed his One-Man Star Wars Trilogy a couple of thousand times, for 12 years since he stood up in a comedy club and acted out the original movie in just 20 minutes.
Now, he does the three original films in just over an hour, acting every role, throwing in plenty of gags, and doing a remarkably good R2D2 impression. He plays to science-fiction conventions, seven-year-olds and their delighted fathers, and to the occasional person who has never seen Star Wars.
He has adapted the show a little over the years, but it is essentially the same structure that has seen him tour the world. Minor changes came when Lucas Productions finally caught up with his act and viewed it to see if it was appropriate, and what cut they should take. One related to Luke’s, erm, excitement when kissing Leia (his sister, remember). “They asked me to take that out.” Since then, he has developed a One Man Lord of the Rings, which condenses that even more mammoth trilogy into short bursts. “Those films have a lot filler,” he observes. For now, though, he is touring Ireland with Star Wars. When did he last see the films in full? “A long time ago,” he admits. Which sounds like the opening lines of something.
One Man Star Wars Trilogy plays Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge tomorrow and tours until November 10th. onemanstarwars.com