Casual Violence: The Great Fire of Nostril
Fun and absurd comedy undermined by underwritten script at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
Everyone, it seems, would rather hear a story featuring evil conjoined twins rather than one about a happy gherkin and so the hapless narrator Ridley loses out to his unseen voiceover narrator rival. Young Roger Nostril is distraught when his father is killed by the aforementioned twins, so after doing a spot of taxidermy on his old man, he tries to get to the bottom of what happened, stumbling across an armless man, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and a bakery 'to die for' on the way.
It's a fun hour in which there's much chaotic running about between scenes, plenty of changing wigs and hats and with a script that’s both silly and absurdist. But it's also underwritten and quite a few of the gags don't really hit the mark. There are some nice theatrical devices here: the invisible shadow dogs that attack the hapless Ridley to prevent him relating his tale, the nicely squeamish separating of the conjoined twins while the references to comedian Ben Champion who provides the accompanying music on keyboard makes for a nice extra layer of gags.
But ultimately, a crucial issue here is that the group largely play to the front of the room, which is problematic when (if it's a full house) more than half your audience is seated at the side. It's no coincidence that the people who seem to enjoy it the most are the ones directly facing the action.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug, 4.45pm, £7.50-£9.50 (£7-£9).