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Edinburgh in focus - To Hal and Back (Hal Cruttenden)



Preview by Paul Nelson

SINCE last year's nomination for the Perrier Best Newcomer, Hal Cruttenden, has been busy, busy, busy.

He's still soft and cuddly but now reveals an increasing inner darkness - a bit like an inside out walnut whip.

Hal is returning to the Fringe with his show, To Hal and Back at the Pleasance Dome, and this time he is a little bit crosser…and more pathetic than ever.

So what has Hal been doing?

"Talking about myself really," he confesses.

And that's something he will be continuing to do with much enthusiasm at The Edinburgh Fringe 2003.

That and explaining his unusual
hatred of mice. The precarious state of the world will also be a running theme from the man who admits to running like a bit of a girl himself.

Hal's professional debut was in the play Another Country, at the Queen's Theatre in the West End of London, opposite two unknown 20-somethings, Kenneth Branagh and
Rupert Everett. Hal was 12.

After retiring from child acting to concentrate on puberty and girls, he returned to the stage and screen in his early twenties, with TV roles in Shackleton, Eastenders, Kavanagh QC, Out of the Blue, Touching Evil
and Bramwell.

On film he has appeared in Mrs Dalloway and The Madness of King George.

However, it is as a stand up comic that Hal has made his name (chosen by posh Shakespeare-loving parents).

As well as doing the entire comedy circuit here, including the Comedy Store and Jongleurs, Hal has had several jollies abroad for The Comedy Store in Abu Dhabi and Dubai; The Singapore Comedy Festival and opened the first comedy
venue in Bali.

Nice work if you can get it. And it's no surprise that he does.

To Hal and Back, Pleasance Dome 3 (Venue 23), 1 Bristo Square, Edinburgh. August 2 to 25 (Previews Jul 30 to Aug 1) at 20.20hrs. £4.50 previews, £9/£7.50 (£10/£8.50
Fri/Sat and 21st to 24th Aug). Box Office: 0131 556 6550

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