Sing For Your Life
Hideously hilarious taxidermy puppet cabaret
This article is from 2015.
A puppet cabaret might suggest comparisons with lovable children’s storytellers The Muppets, but this dark comedy is populated by a cast of skinned animal carcasses with gleaming glass eyes. The taxidermy cabaret story follows a neglected French bulldog who discovers a band of animals engaged in a floor show at the bottom of a garden.
The group are talented puppeteers, with three people deftly weaving under each other to manipulate a dancing fox and the puppets bring a mass of physical comedy: a backing chorus of squirrels bring the house down each time they appear clicking their paws like furry extras in West Side Story.
Set to well-known pop tunes, the songs offer clever rhyming satire, exposing the ill treatment of animals – badger sings about the cull, the French bulldog about pedigree breeding. The show also forces its audience to face the less than cuddly realities of the animals' physical forms – as a chorus of plucked chicken bodies can-can forward, the front row visibly recoil.
While the majority of the songs are well crafted, the dialogue in between musical numbers drags a little and despite having a live band, the singing lacks the musical support expected of a cabaret. Yet overall, Sing For Your Life is hideously hilarious.
Underbelly Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, until 30 Aug, 8.40pm, £11–£12 (£10–£11).