A Plague of Idiots
Acrobatic chaos and poor jokes make for an intriguing hour
Clowning, physical theatre and really awkward silences make up A Plague of Idiots' show. The Idiots, a bunch of performers more convinced by their talents than evidence would suggest, take turns to fail on stage in front of an initially perplexed audience. Sometimes this works, other times it doesn't, and this tension creates the occasional uncomfortable moment: the show is meant to go poorly, but when an intentionally bad joke genuinely isn't funny, there's not much to do but clap politely, cringe and move on.
The Idiots really hit their stride about halfway through, rolling with the Romeo and Juliet theme that comes to the fore. There's gratuitous nudity and a pool noodle battle between the Montagues and Capulets that, once the audience becomes involved, turns unexpectedly violent.
The runt of their comedy litter shines when he gets his chance to perform Romeo's 'But soft … ' soliloquy: a poignant moment in the madness before the show returns to its scheduled chaos. The group pile a lot into their hour: drama, music, clowning, acrobatics and general oddballery. At times the show seems to be frantically searching for its place, but A Plague of Idiots' ability to run with ideas that almost don't land is a testament to their skill.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 29 Aug, 5pm, £10--£11 (£8–9).