"I have never been what you might call an arty person in that I do not often go to galleries and look at pictures I am however aware of some of the "Masters", Vincent Van Gogh" being one. The fact that the UK Premiere of the one-man show 'Vincent' is being performed this Fringe under the TTI & Guy Masterson banner was one contributing factor to encourage me to go and see it. The other being that it was written and initially performed by Leonard Nimoy (Mr Spock).
Jim Jarret has been performing the work for 10 years and has given over 1000 performances, whether the production chooses the performer or the performer evolves in to the subject I just don't know but I was amazed just how similar Jarrett is to some of the self portraits projected on to a large canvas on stage.
My admiration for solo performers is well documented and Jim Jarrett does a very good job alternating between the main character Theo Van Gogh and his brother Vincent. Theo unable to talk after his brothers funeral takes the chance at this gathering of friends and family to say now what he could not then. This history is taken from letters and writings from and about the artist.
This is an interesting informative production well performed and directed by Jim Jarrett includes projected images of paintings and drawings both well known and lesser known." (Sheila Jack (one4review.com 07/08/08)
"Vincent Van Gogh still has the ability to fascinate The turbulent life of Vincent van Gogh has long attracted dramatists. Like the 1990 movie Vincent and Theo, by Robert Altman, Vincent, a one-man play by Leonard Nimoy (of Star Trek fame), focuses on the relationship between the painter and his brother. The basis for the drama is Theo's oration about Vincent the week following the artist's death.
Drawing upon the correspondence between the two men, the monologue takes us chronologically through Vincent's biography: his fiery Christian evangelism among the working poor; his worship of fellow painter Paul Gauguin; his famous act of self-harm; and, always, his close, but often strained, relations with the brother whose financial and emotional support did so much to make his work possible.
This is not a play of great imagination or ambition. Much of it is dramatised readings of the letters themselves. However, Van Gogh's story is so irresistible, and American actor Jim Jarrett's self-directed performance so engaging that Vincent makes for a rewarding piece of Fringe theatre. (Mark Brown (The Telegraph 08/08/08)
"With impassioned strokes like those of a Van Gogh canvas this one-man show paints the relationship of brothers Theo and Vincent. A week after Vincent's suicide Theo holds a memorial service to fittingly portray the gravely misunderstood man, and we hear his address to the congregation. American actor Jim Jarrett expresses with colour and immediacy the intensity of the relationship, and as he reads from Vincent's letters there is an overwhelming sense of something very private being exposed. The projections of Van Gogh's paintings and drawings accompanying Theo's candid words only add to our immersion in the brothers' world. 'Vincent' is an intimate, vivid, and enlightening portrait of the artist and of the brother who supported him so devotedly." (Dora Petherbridge (Three Weeks 15/08/08)
NOMINATED: BEST SOLO PERFORMER - THE STAGE, EDINBURGH 2008 This monologue in the voice of Vincent Van Gogh's brother Theo was written by actor Leonard Nimoy around 1970, for himself to perform in the days he was trying to break away from his Star Trek persona.
For the past dozen years, Jim Jarrett has toured with the show, bringing to Edinburgh a highly polished and fully developed characterisation and presentation.
Inspired by the fact that Theo oddly did not speak at Vincent's grave, Nimoy imagines him too overcome by grief then, but driven to make up for it later, at an event that is openly a celebration of the artist's life and work.
Theo's portrait of his brother is unabashedly adulatory, finding joy in all of Vincent's foibles, interpreting everything as a product of the intense experience in life that made him a great artist and absolutely denying, notwithstanding all the evidence, that he ever was mad.
Where Nimoy originally played Theo as a rather formal man, lecturing sternly on the facts of Vincent's life, Jarrett's Theo is defined by the joy of loving his brother and of having the opportunity to share that love. He has a smile on his face throughout and roams the stage, delightedly picking up fragments of Vincent's letters to illustrate the artist's total immersion in everything he did and felt, good or bad.
Jarrett allows us to sense a state of denial in his speaker, as Theo brushes past the ear-cutting episode or Vincent's stay in an asylum a bit too glibly and tries to put a positive spin on the darkest periods in his brother's life, but that makes even stronger our sense of the brotherly love that is the real subject of the play.
Jarrett is backed by projections of dozens of Vincent's paintings and drawings which, being undeniably works of genius, constantly threaten to upstage the actor, but his willingness to run that risk is a measure of his confidence in the power of his story and his performance. (Gerald Berkowitz, The Stage 14/08/08)