One Man Breaking Bad is impressionist Miles Allen’s attempt to squeeze 60 Breaking Bad episodes into 60 minutes. Given the 50 metre queue that stretched down the road from The Stand’s third and fourth venue and the double extension of the run, it is obvious that Edinburgh has its fair share of Breaking Bad fanatics. As Allen bounced onto stage backed by Eminem and dropped the first “yo bitches”, he was greeted by ecstatic applause. People love this show.
Although his energy and relatively frequent dance numbers would satisfy any passers-by, the “Skyler is a moody bitch” jokes and Walter Junior impressions might appear a little offensive to the uninitiated.
The task of potting one of the more structurally complex, stylised programmes into a bitesized, Fringe show chunk is a difficult one. Allen makes the astute move of forgoing large parts of the narrative in favour of an emphasis on characters, punctuated by key moments of plot. We begin in Walter White’s classroom with a gravelly Heisenberg drawl and a bit of observational comedy concerning the plot’s sweeping narrative arc.
It is obvious from these early nerdy moments and Allen’s warning that there are about 367 spoilers to come that this is show almost exclusively for fans. Although his energy and relatively frequent dance numbers would satisfy any passers-by, the “Skyler is a moody bitch” jokes and Walter Junior impressions might appear a little offensive to the uninitiated.
Correct company in attendance and several moments particularly stick out. The “Hank is a bumbling macho-man who talks exclusively in non-sensical sports metaphors” setpiece is fantastic and Saul Goodman is not only perfectly played but tailored to the Edinburgh audience. Need to sever ties with England? Then you better call Saul.
Equally as well-pitched were the numerous non-Breaking Bad impressions Allen managed to shoehorn into the show; his one man take on the entire cast of Family Guy conjuring particularly big laughs. As funny as they were, it is here and with the Britney sing-a-long that the show loses itself slightly. Without doubt Allen is a good performer and a solid comedian. His only major flaw, and that which stopped him garnering Breaking Bad levels of cult appreciation, is his willingness to chase slightly cheap laughs. Nonetheless, One Man Breaking Bad is definitely a show worth catching if you’ve seen Breaking Bad.