Off-kilter puppets Boris and Sergey return to Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Perilous Escapade

This article is from 2013

Off-kilter puppets Boris and Sergey return to Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Perilous Escapade

Puppets recount their tribulations in the underworld

Last year, Boris and Sergey were a late night success: a pair of seditious puppets, out to bilk their audience while spoofing Kate Bush and The Matrix, they provided wild hilarity right up until their souls were dragged down into hell.

Artistic director of Flabbergast, Henry Maynard, found the terrible twosome hard to escape. ‘We are bringing the old show back – and we have the sequel,’ he says. ‘It is a continuation of what happened at the end of Vaudevillian Adventure – they sold their souls to the devil and this is their journey to reclaim them through the underworld.’

Boris and Sergey have become serious, without losing their anarchic humour. ‘The first show is a crossover cabaret,’ Maynard continues. ‘The new show is following a traditional structure.’ The Perilous Escapade is their version of the hero’s journey, the archetypal story that structures everything from classical myth to the good Star Wars films.

Henry Maynard is ambitious for puppetry - having worked on the National Theatre’s celebrated War Horse, he is aware of the medium’s crossover potential. Although he discounts the possibility of a Boris and Sergey Waiting for Godot (‘They’d take it over,’ he worries), he does see them as potential chat show hosts in the festival and is hoping to develop a TV sitcom.

For the moment, his Odysseus and two vaudevillians are content to follow in the footsteps of Odysseus and Bill and Ted and take on the dark forces. But they are always restless. Maynard sighs. ‘We are going to have to do a trilogy now.’

Boris & Sergey II Perilous Escapade, Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 3–25 Aug, 23.10pm, £8–11 (£7–£10). Previews 31 Jul, 1 & 2 Aug, £6.

Boris & Sergey II Perilous Escapade

  • 4 stars

The Balkan rogues use burlesque and improvisation to recount their tribulations in the underworld.