The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is home to thousands of no-holds-barred acts that consistently push the boundary of what we might consider to be performance. From musicals about Brexit to a flight crash simulator show there’s no end to the weird and wacky at this year’s Fringe. Then there’s Roman Fraden’s show ‘Roman Fraden: Back in the Closet’ which seems to redefine the whole genre of comedy: bizarre isn’t a strong enough word for this one-man show filled with drugs, figure skating, Nutella, Tonya Harding, sequins and penises.
by Tom Inniss
I very much doubt his explosive energy can be contained in the closet
Former figure skating champion turned comedian Roman Fraden invites you to join him as he re-enters the closet in his outrageous personal journey through life to date.
This show is a bit of an enigma, and very difficult to describe without descending into cliches. Surreal, personal, high energy, crass. All of these are applicable to the absolutely filthy tales of gay debauchery that Fraden presents.
Back in the Closet kind of makes me regret any previous use of the word ‘bizarre’ because this show is wholly bizarre. A weird, wonderful gay odyssey that’s totally unafraid to be uncomfortable and distasteful. Fraden is a very spaced out comedian, like someone constantly on the verge of an epiphany. That’s very appropriate on account of how otherworldly this show is. There’s dancing, music, psychedelic lights and maybe The Voice of the Universe(?) There’s contemplation, profundity, and uh, penises.
Figure skating champion turned comedian Roman Fraden has a show at the Edinburgh Fringe this year titled Back in the Closet.
Why do you have to go back in the closet?
My dilemma: I want men, and I want them badly. Usually heterosexual men. Recipe for disaster? OF COURSE!
By Caro Moses | Published on Monday 13 August 2018
One of the things I like about the Fringe is the fact that while many performers arrive at it via a traditional route, loads of them seem to take a road less travelled, and that’s definitely the case for Roman Fraden, who, back in the early nineties, was a champion figure skater.
Since then he’s taken a fairly long and circuitous route to a career in comedy, but it seems as though he’s certainly found his niche. I arranged a chat to find out more about his life, his show, and the future.