Edinburgh Fringe digital review: The Rodney Buzzard Tapes

To give this show its full name, The Rodney Buzzard Tapes: Evidence of an Honourable Man, doesn’t give many clues to the type of show it might be.

Listed in Edinburgh Festival Fringe publicity as comedy, sketch show, absurdist, Prefontaine Productions have created a true-crime satire based on serial killer Rodney Buzzard.

Surreal and unnerving, we follow a criminologist as he explores the tapes (“I found it at a charity shop”) and tries to work out what happened in Northampton in the 1970s.

A cast of five explore the basic premise of the criminologist and his drama school friends reenacting moments from Buzzard’s life and violent sprees.

Promotional image for The Rodney Buzzard Tapes

It’s a late night, silly show which pokes fun at the vogue for true crime drama-documentaries which clutter up streaming services.

Rodney Buzzard – who is first glimpsed in this show as an actual bird above a tape recorder – has the kind of name which invites ridicule.

A little off-colour in both premise and delivery, The Rodney Buzzard Tapes has monstrous characteristations and bizarre dialogue delivered in total seriousness.

It could be a bit shatper, a bit more absurd, but this comic caper was a nice surprise – viewed in digital format – and this company have proved themselves as one to watch.

The Rodney Buzzard Tapes played at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2022.

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