Sing For Your Life (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

Sing For Your Life

Hideously hilarious taxidermy puppet cabaret

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).

Sing for Your Life

  • 3 stars

The Vaults Notorious taxidermy artist Charlie Tuesday Gates has scraped up roadkill, bought deceased dogs on Gumtree and revived her family pet to bring you this five-star, death-defying and hilariously unsettling musical comedy… starring real dead animal puppets. Hold on to your conscience – it's the greatest show that…