YOU can only take so much Soviet angst, and as usual the Citz can be

guaranteed to remind you what camp theatricality is all about.

Not that Giles Havergal's adaptation does Graham Greene any

disservice. On the contrary this is one of the most faithful, and at the

same time original, novel adaptations I have ever seen. You have to

know, however, that it is hilarious and the most fun seen on the

Citizens' stage since French Knickers.

The story is told in first person narrative and direct speech, written

by Greene, and Havergal, Derwent Watson, Patrick Hannaway, and

Christopher Gee are identically dressed as the protagonist Henry

Pulling, while taking on the other 24 characters with a change of voice

or of posture.

If that technique is an unexpected triumph, it is entirely due to the

performances of the actors. Havergal becomes the bohemian aunt in all

but dress and his quizzical look as Henry, is reflected in Derwent

Watson's appearance of complete bafflement when he takes on the role.

Watson's young female characters are another delight and Hannaway

handles the foreign roles with outrageous accents.

The title, locations, characters, and time are flashed above the stage

in electronic subtitles -- one of the many stagey jokes that punctuate

the production -- and Stewart Laing's set is a convincing and colourful

suburban garden, complete with seed-packet identified dahlias, and a

second-act carnival Paraguay.

The first act satires the English middle-class in a way that Scots

will certainly appreciate, but none of Greene's targets are excluded.

It's the most fun you can have with the same clothes on.