American Gun Show

This solo show looked at America’s gun culture through a very personal lens. It was performed at Under St. Marks and 59E59 in Manhattan, and then was seen in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where it received four and five star reviews in 2013.

Edinburgh poster with star ratings

“Chris Harcum bravely approaches a taboo subject: guns. The American, performing in Edinburgh for the first time, is not attempting to brainwash people into being anti-gun — or pro-human as he calls it — but simply attempts to shed light on the mad obsession his fellow Americans have with firearms…While a dark subject, there is still plenty of laughter combined with audience participation. By tackling the subject through comedy he gives theater-goers the chance of a release — without the lighter parts the production could become too dark. Harcum has a powerful stage presence and is a very good actor who is not afraid to put himself on the line.”

-Paula Murray, Scottish Sunday Express

Five stars! Chris Harcum’s charisma was enough to have our attention instantly. Once he’d drawn us in, the tone became more serious: he mixed jokes with facts about violence and guns in his country; and more importantly, he transmitted the real fear and anger of living with this issue. This is not just a satire, it’s a mirror into our own actions, and Harcum delivers a powerful message that echoes in your mind long after the show is over.”

-Natalia Equihua, Three Weeks

American Gun Show pic 2“Harcum doesn’t shy away from the big issues: guns, banks, security, masculinity, fear, love, life, and most importantly, death. Furthermore, they are approached with sensitivity and intelligence. His references were entertaining and diverse: from Batman to Tennessee Williams, Harcum paints quite the picture…Moreover, the show tapped into the absurdities of contemporary paranoia very successfully, and Harcum’s energetic hatred for the uncivilised tendencies of the rare but ridiculous New York baddies was both humorous and captivating.”

-Emma Banks, Broadway Baby


“But despite all that weirdness – or maybe because of it – Chris Harcum’s one-man production is among the most compelling shows I’ve seen at this year’s (Edinburgh Festival) Fringe…as he sits alone under a spotlight, playing it utterly straight now, he shares an almost terrifying narrative about the events that have brought him to Edinburgh.  As he talked, the silence from his audience was absolute… and for a while, I swear I was holding my breath…If you’re looking for a show to talk about – where you’ll leave the theatre wanting to discuss both its message and its style – then you really won’t find better than this one.”

-Richard Stamp, FringeGuru

ERD_GUN_SHOW“Execution is a study of theater craft that belongs in a textbook…sprezzatura oozes from every pore and drips onto the stage in a puddle of tightly crafted theatre, created to look like a completely spontaneous phenomenon… (Chris Harcum) works like James Brown… trust me when I tell you the show is worth seeing… flawless.” 

-Will Kenton, Cultural Capitol

“The potency of live performance is clearly demonstrated by the end of Two Lovely Black Eyes, as is Harcum’s impressive range as an actor and director Aimee Todoroff’s skill… you will want to catch this surprising new work.”  

-Martin Denton, NYTheatre

“We are beckoned to traverse a tightrope of finely tuned observations that most of us ignore…It has been a long time since I left a theater and felt that charge – that exhilaration that comes with the revelation that we are all in this damn thing together and we had better make the best of it…I actually remembered why I came to New York in the first place and to jolt my memory that profoundly is no small feat. Go and see history unfold.”  

-Deborah Johnstone, The Deliberate Muse


Read Chris Harcum’s post on American Gun Show on The Scotsman / Wow 247.