Boris and Sergey’s Vaudevillian Adventure (3 stars)

This article is from 2012

Boris and Sergey’s Vaudevillian Adventure

Droll and bawdy puppet double act

Nothing covers cracks like cuteness. Boris and Sergey are two faceless leather bunraku puppets that look like reconstituted old footballs sprung to life. They speak in gravelly Russian honks and have more than enough character to get away with a distracted show.

Manipulated by six hands each, Boris and Sergey start with wittily miniaturised Vaudeville turns. Sergey hops onto a balancing ball and wobbles around poison-tipped drawing pins. Party-poppers explode around him like tabletop fireworks. Boris follows with a drag recreation of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights, a tiny smoke-machine belching into his face.

However, the second-half swerves off, dropping music hall for a poker-table fleecing then a misguided fantasy subplot about evil wraiths The Dark Ones. Boris and Sergey are best when most like us, as a bawdy and shambolic double-act unravelling. We never get to see them try and salvage the botched finale set up early on.

Nonetheless, Boris and Sergey are great company and their Vaudevillian Adventure makes a droll subversion of the Fringe as a whole. With more structural rigour, Flabbergast Theatre could take them far.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug, 11pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).

Boris & Sergey's Vaudevillian Adventure

  • 3 stars

Flabbergast Theatre. ‘Hilariously filthy but strangely full of pathos. Unadulterated genius’ ( Join puppetry's Balkan bad boys Boris & Sergey - simply the greatest vaudevillian double-act ever conceived for the small stage! Fleeing from the Dark Ones, to whom they lost their souls in a card…

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