The Truman Capote Talk Show
- Robin Lee
- 1 September 2006
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 12-Sat 16 Sep
In Murder By Death, the daft 1976 spoof whodunnit based on a Neil Simon screenplay, five sleuths arrive at the mansion of eccentric millionaire Lionel Twain. He plans dinner, and then a murder, which they must solve. Aided (and hampered) by blind butler Bensonmum, the quintet of vaguely familiar detectives blunder around the stately pile looking for evidence and wind up thoroughly flummoxed. A clue: it’s not the butler.
Despite the film’s A-list cast, the most fascinating performance is that of Lionel Twain: hiding beneath a lilac fedora, and seemingly not acting at all, is Truman Capote. Bob Kingdom, playwright, actor and impersonator, describes him as ‘captivating’. He brings his characterisation, The Truman Capote Talk Show, to the Tron, after winning a Fringe First for the play 12 years ago. ‘He comes on in the way that he might have presented a show about himself,’ says Kingdom. ‘I deal with all aspects of his life.’
Has Capote, last year’s movie in which Phillip Seymour Hoffman played the lead, and the upcoming Infamous, renewed appreciation of the In Cold Blood author? ‘I’m going to be interested in finding out, because I’ve been doing this show for a while, at a time when he wasn’t that well-known in this country. So I feel I’ve done all the groundwork.’
‘He was a bit of an icon really - he didn’t give a shit what people thought of him, ever,’ continues Kingdom. ‘I think that his boldness . . . To be the person you wanted to be in those days, you had to be brave, and I think that the spirit of the individual shines through. He really wanted to be his own man, 100% Capote.’