So is this where the real Fringe is at these days? Those who know their Edinburgh Festival history will be aware that the Festival Fringe emerged at the same time as the official festival when a number of artists chose to gatecrash the event. Seventy years on and much of the fringe is increasingly corporatised as the big venues seem to take over more and more of Edinburgh, squeezing the smaller ones out of existence in much
In their wake though, the Free Fringe has continued to grow in the last few years and if these festival newcomers are anything to go by, the future looks promising. This Canadian double act may not be strikingly original but they do boast a fine rapport and confidence and energy to burn. They bill themselves as ‘ridiculously funny’ and their choice of adverb is apt indeed as many of their situations and characters are frankly ludicrous. Their finest moments come when things didn’t appear to go to plan – whether or not it is deliberate is hard to tell but when one performer drops her line, this prompts a bizarre yet very entertaining display of one-upmanship which calls to mind Morecambe and Wise. Similarly they make virtue of their limitations including props and stage-space; their self-assurance means they seem utterly undaunted whatever happens and the lo-fi, slightly ramshackle nature of the show only adds to their charm.
The show may not be entirely consistent and towards the end there is an over-reliance on toilet humour including masturbating puppets, but if this show is at all representative of the Free Fringe phenomenon, it’s certainly well worth the entrance fee!