The 2021 Fringe didn’t feel like a real Fringe, and there is a noticeable trend of some performers re-doing their prior shows for those who missed them last year. Alex Kouvatas joins them with his 2021 debut, Something is Missing. If he is a bit less popular this year it is probably because he was so popular last year, Edinburghers and regular Fringe-goers will have already seen him, plus apparent venue troubles may have resulted in difficulty in finding him. However, for those who manage to seek him out it is worth the effort.
With a small audience at the reviewed show, Kouvatas was able to get everyone involved. The first participant in particular was especially excited to join him, waving to her friends and posing for their cameras. The effect that she was involved in is a highlight, showcasing Kouvatas’s excellent ability to weave his tricks in to stories—in this case a magical, non-threatening take on William Tell shooting an apple off of someone’s head. While there is less of a theme running through the show this year, which is missed, that storytelling remains a strong point.
With his venue change, and falling victim to the small audience plague that is running rampant throughout this year’s Fringe, one would think that Kouvatas had more than enough misfortune to deal with. However, unfortunately at the reviewed show he also had trouble with his table, which dramatically broke part of the way through the show. He managed to play this off admirably well—the audience seemed to half expect him to wave a plastic wand and the table would restore itself. However, it was just a misfortune. Aside from the incident itself the show did not appear to suffer for the lack of the table.
Despite the misfortune surrounding this year’s iteration of Something is Missing, Kouvatas’s passion and showmanship shine through. He has clearly been hard at work, he no longer has to refer to a script and has a more consistently strong transition between tricks. While the theme and ideas behind the prior iteration are missed, these may be a casualty of the troubles Kouvatas faced this year. The overall improvement in his performance is noticeable. The show reviewed was towards the end of this year’s Fringe, but hopefully he has better luck next year. Kouvatas deserves to reach a wider audience.