- Suzanne Black
- 8 August 2011
This article is from 2011.
Absurdist comedy with a Gothic feel
Maestros of the dark and twisted fairytale, Les Enfants Terribles (who brought us Ernest and the Pale Moon and The Terrible Infants), bring back to Edinburgh a play they debuted here in 2006. In a cell in an unnamed location a man is subjected to an interrogation, his crime unknown. His questioners exude an off-kilter menace: Samedi (Anthony Spargo) is well-dressed, well-spoken and sinisterly well-mannered; Castogan (Martyn Dempsey) is his brutish sidekick. A wickedly funny Kafka-esque trial ensues, eventually drawing the man’s wife into the accusations.
Little has changed since the 2006 production. New staging augments the atmosphere created by writer and director Oliver Lansley, a delightfully chilling Gothic noir reminiscent of Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman. The persecuting double-act, bringing to mind Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, really shine with Spargo’s incarnation on Samedi the highlight of the show.
Yet the same flaws are present and as the investigation slips into a repetitive pattern the pace begins to flag. It is a small complaint about an otherwise witty, mirthful and intriguing absurdist sketch about the immutability of truth.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug (not 15 & 16), 2.35pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).