Very Blue Peter
- Gareth K Vile
- 9 August 2018
Late night chaos and cheap laughs
The dominance of comedy, late-night slots and drunk audiences have encouraged a Fringe fashion for 'party theatre': heavy on audience interaction, leery and self-consciously shambolic. Very Blue Peter, imagining the venerable BBC children's institution hijacked by disgruntled presenters, follows this trend, but relies on noise, crude humour and mockery without building on its concept.
Consisting of vaguely related episodes that fizzle out, VBP is fast-paced but dramaturgically lazy. Its humour depends on the juxtaposition of the Blue Peter format with adult emotional tragedy, drug use and a sudden, irrelevant nudity. The cast has little to do but shout and mug, and many of the jokes fail to land.
Lacking much interest in satire or structure, VBP is shallow and crushes potential wit beneath blunt references and occasional meta-theatrical slapstick. Underdeveloped and slapdash, it is disappointing and seems to care more about being brash than entertaining.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 27 Aug, 11.15pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).