FRINGE REVIEW: PAPILLON

 

Warning: Todger alert.

I had not intended to be heading off to this show so had no real expectations of it, other than assuming it would be about butterflies, or it would be some form of cabaret / comedy 9601_HWE_EFUL_GUIDEversion of Henri Charriere’s 1969 book of the same name – you know the one – the one about prison breakouts set in various draconian French island prisons. Meaty stuff for a comedy show, I thought…

So, in a way, I was a little sad that the show had nothing to do with prisons at all. In fact, it turned out to be a high-octane circus show that provided the audience with a rapid fire series of acrobatic thrills, laced with well performed songs and some comedy.

This is the third time this talented troupe has brought their show to the Fringe and the crowds keep flocking to see it. I must have had my head in the sand. Last night, pre-show, the queue snaked right around The Octagon at Gluttony and doubled back upon itself. And this was a Thursday night!

Just goes to show you should never under-estimate the appeal of a circus. What these guys can do with a few simple props – ladders, chairs, bottles, plates and broken glass – is quite phenomenal.

For the price of your ticket you also get some accomplished aerial work on ropes and trapeze swings, a diverse repertoire of well performed tunes (White Stripes, Radiohead, Sesame Street), and according to the bloke behind me – unverified I’m afraid – free drinks from the in-house bar!

Oh, and if you don’t blink, there is a ‘brief’ moment where the audience’s squeals were not caused by impressive acts of physicality…

The show is in its last days. It’s worth a look if you can get a ticket.

Rating: 4 stars

Reviewed by Ken Grady

 

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