Dr. Longitude's Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie
Magnificent family show channelling carnival, puppets and a hallucinogenic toad
This article is from 2014.
Ever wanted to run away with the circus? Les Enfants Terribles have created something special here: a magnificent carny sideshow, with cool puppets for the little 'uns, bawdy gags for adults and an appealing, colourful set design for both. A fantastic cast of six sing, clown and effortlessly swap characters, with a nod, a wink, and a doff of the tit-fer to the Victorian fairground.
Joanna Scotcher's ingenious world is populated by the bizarre. Doctor Longitude (a campy Anthony Spargo, who co-wrote with Oliver Lansley) and his travelling freaks come on like a Stephen Sondheim musical, with the kaleidoscopic visual alchemy of Tim Burton. The explorers seek bumblewasps and chaffalumps but constantly draw attention to their shortcomings as performers - 'Well, you get the idea,' they trill.
Flora Bakewell (Alice Bounce) a cheeky 'tart with a heart' is most endearing, jumping into the audience with coloured balloons, believing she can fly off, and strongman Po Po (Martyn Dempsey) provides no end of innuendo with the song Lick Me Before I Explode 2: yes, you read that correctly - not a Spinal Tap B-side, but rather an ode to a hallucinogenic toad.
Better than any family show has a right to be.
Pleasance Courtyard, 0131 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 12),1pm, £8-£10.50.