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H.R. Britton

Melting in Madras

Location + schedule

Ritz Theater Studio
345 13th Av NE

DateTimeMy FringeAccess
Thursday 8/55:30 p.m.  
Friday 8/68:30 p.m.  
Monday 8/97:00 p.m.  
Thursday 8/1210:00 p.m.  
Sunday 8/154:00 p.m.  
About the show

For ages 12+
Solo, Spoken word, Multicultural, Religious

Created by H.R. Britton
From Roslindale, MA
www.overcoattheater.com

Overall rating



A storytelling monologue by former Minnesotan H.R. Britton, whom BackStage has called “an engaging storyteller ... one honest, likable guy telling his story with unaffected simplicity.”

In 1995, a wide-eyed, 23-year-old, just-out-of-college Britton traveled to South India to explore yoga, meditation, and music for a year. But after three months, his quest for spiritual clarity took a detour when he became seriously ill.

Drawing on storytelling, character work, and live music, "Melting in Madras" vividly paints portraits of the people he met, and tells the tale of his pilgrimage with all its confusion and beauty. The Hindu called Britton’s previous work “a moving and humorous account of an India less traveled.”

User reviews

Solid storytelling, fun impressions
by Gabriel Heller Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Of all the shows I saw this year, this was the closest to the traditional "storyteller goes abroad, has experiences good and bad followed by an epiphany, returns home to tell us about it" fringe show which I have to say I have a soft spot for, and not having my recommended yearly allowance of such shows yet this fringe (everyone else feeling the need to break the mold) I felt the need to ground myself by seeing this show, even though my wife was off seeing Show Goons. It's too bad, because her own fringe show of two years ago also fit that mold. I didn't get quite what I expected, but in the end it came out the same: 4 kitties. The story was a little less interesting, the epiphany a little less moving, but the performance better than I expected. Especially Briton's various impressions, of rickshaw horns, bicycle bells, big-eared subcontinental music teachers and very polity but bitchy nurses, were a real treat. His description of his bicycle accident was the best bit in the show. But the bit about amoebic dysentery seemed to go on almost as long as the disease itself, and just wasn't consistently interesting. His use of guitar, however, was just the right touch at the right time.

a fine addition to Fringe storytelling
by Dave Stagner Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Like so many other shows, it's a personal story. It's not really aimed at a shared experience, but rather relating the sense of an alien world - both being a student in India, and suffering through serious illness (in the form of amoebic dysentery). His delivery is great - he studied carnatic singing in India and performs beautifully, in context of the stories. And he captures the accents and sounds of India, and the personalities of various characters, with wit and easy recognition.

I had a really good time, and walked away feeling like I understood the world a little better.

Paints a picture
by Ann Rice Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Funny and touching. The delivery was rushed, which hindered the narrative at times. I enjoyed the sound effects and characters Britton created. See it if you enjoy meditations on eastern religion or travel.

Travel monologue
by Bill McTeer Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Pleasant, well-constructed, and well-delivered life experience piece. In the tradition of this type of narrative, a lot of things happen but the impact is personal.

Great storytelling, cool music
by Christy Shingle Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Unscripted storytelling. Introspective, moving, and funny with some impressive musical skills and character work on display. If you do yoga or if you were ever interested in Eastern philosophy, I recommend.

Hot hot hot
by Reid Gagle Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The interesting and well-told autobiographical story of a young man’s philosophical and medical adventures in India. The writing could have delivered more punch than it did, but the delivery was excellent. The performer is a good mimic, both auditory (Indian accents and street sounds) and physical (that funny but inscrutable Indian head waggle). Worth seeing.

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