Punchline recommends Crybabies: Bagbeard

4 and a half stars
Crybabies: Bagbeard

Words by Suzy Romer

Comedy at the Fringe is all about freedom to be original, fun, daft and brilliant and this bumper sketch adventure has it all. Michael Clarke, James Gault and Ed Jones have the sort of acting talent that could easily have them popping up in great screen dramas for the rest of their careers, but they have other fish to fry.

While the first scene of the show runs like a classic stand-alone sci-fi sketch, it is in fact the prelude to a whole madcap story that sweeps us up and keeps us guessing (usually incorrectly) until the end. We follow the exploits of a heroic young scientist who longs for fame and fortune as a deserving goodie, but the plot thickens faster than custard until the Cool Guy with the Gun appears and then it really kicks off. As for Bagbeard, I can´t give you any spoilers but it´s a revelation worth waiting for.

There is no limit to the type or number of characters that these three performers can create, and the way they pull dramatic scenes out of ridiculous ideas is consistently impressive. There’s a great soundtrack and the imaginative special effects belie any space or budget restraints. The thrilling sense of chaotic fun is actually created with expert stage savvy, impeccable timing and costumes that are inventive and silly in equal measure. Occasional prop hiccups (I saw one of the preview shows) are met with smiles and a cheeky aside for the audience, which just makes us love them more.

It’s an utter delight to discover that nothing has stopped this group from preparing a high-energy show full of fun, glorious plot twists, silly puns, chewy one-liners, skilful slapstick and artistically justified running around in pants. I neither confirm nor deny that I had tears in my eyes as the story ended, but I can tell you I laughed more than I have in a long time and the audience laughed with me.

Click here to buy tickets for Crybabies: Bagbeard

5.50pm | Pleasance Dome (10 Dome) | until 28 August (not 15)


Published by Punchline

Your secret source of comedy knowledge at the Edinburgh Fringe

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