Jim Rose Circus
- Yasmin Sulaiman
- 21 August 2008
This article is from 2008.
Flat return for Fringe legend
The return of the Jim Rose Circus to the Fringe has been heralded with all the fanfare of a second coming - a strange deification, considering the show is set in Hell.
Sadly, the carnivalesque sideshow atmosphere of yore has been obliterated in favour of overtly sexualised escapades. A tired-looking Rose plays the Devil, surrounded by scantily clad minions and Warthog, a heavy metal band whose members will do anything to get through the gates of Hell.
The result is a muddled mix of the commonplace and the truly ludicrous. The first stunt of the evening, in which Rose swallows and regurgitates a series of razor blades, simply doesn't get the crowd's blood pumping. And when one of his female performers imitates a mental health patient and takes a knife to her genitalia to the tune of 'Only Women Bleed' - after pretending to masturbate on stage - the audience reaction is a mix of nervous laughter and blank-faced disapproval.
Padded out with metal covers - 'Highway to Hell' and 'Welcome to the Jungle' both get a look in - and completely bereft of any sense of wonder or amazement, this once-lauded spectacle could effectively have wrecked its reputation as one of the most celebrated acts on the Fringe. 'I didn't want to come back to Edinburgh until I had a show that would top all my other shows,' Rose crows at one point. You should have stayed away, Jim.
Udderbelly's Pasture, 0844 545 8258, until 25 Aug, 11.45pm, £12.50-£18.