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Children's shows

(A-E) 4 out of 15 Next

Rating Guide
None = Unmissable

= Unwatchable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme

Cereal Clowns (Page 8)
Drams Full glassFull glassFull glass
Venue  Diverse Attractions (Venue 11)
Address   Riddles Court, 322 Lawnmarket
Reviewer   Fiona O'Hanlon

A figure lies under a white sheet upon the double bed on the stage.  As the lights dim, we wait, expecting it to move, and are surprised when instead we hear a noise from the back of the auditorium.  Two pyjama-clad clowns emerge and literally clamber over the audience onto the stage.

It's a dangerous trick, and unfortunately it's also one of the most impressive of the performance.  Apart from a genuinely funny incident in which the shadows of the clowns are seen to poke and strangle each other under a sheet, laughs are generated on the basis of toilet humour – farting, body odour, underwear and smelly socks.  The clowns' antics, which are governed loosely by the process of getting up, showering and having breakfast, are accompanied by 'Guitar Man' whose input heightens the humour of many scenes.  The clowns themselves lack polish however, performing only a short basic juggling routine and incorporating a tenuous sea scene into their breakfast time sketch in order to squirt us with water.

Viewing difficulties encountered as a result of the lack of tiered seating are skilfully handled however, as the bed is raised to a 45 degree angle and there is an emphasis on interaction with the audience.  This is evident at the end of the performance when the clowns lob cornflakes at us.  Incidentally, we lobbed them back!

Cereal Clowns is The Clown Conspiracy's first professional performance and it truly is a conspiracy…to rob people of their money in return for very little clean, clown-like entertainment. 
© Fiona O'Hanlon 11th August 2003 - Published on www.EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 16th August, daily at 11.45.
Company – The Clown Conspiracy


Dr Bunhead's Bananas of Doom. (Page 8).
Drams  Full glass Of Scotland's other national drink.
Venue  George Square Theatre (Venue 37).
Address George Square.
Reviewer Fiona O'Hanlon.

Oh no! Dr Banevil is on the loose and only Dr Bunhead can stop him.  Banevil has already  used genetic modification to turn bananas against us and Dr Bunhead fears that the rest of our vegetables and household objects will follow.  Our mission, if we choose to accept it, is to help Dr Bunhead put an end to Dr Banevil's evil antics before it's too late!

Sporting his characteristic multi-coloured lab coat, the super-enthusiastic Tom Pringle (Dr Bunhead) gives an explosive comedy performance which appeals to both adults and children alike.  The audience is encouraged to interact with Bunhead's wacky experiments, making the explanation of the principles of combustion and freezing an entertaining experience for all.

The most enjoyable science lesson I've ever had!
© Fiona O'Hanlon 3rd August 2003 - Published on www.EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 10th August, daily at 10.30am. Company - Dr Bunhead.


Dude! Where's My Teddy Bear? (Page 9)
Drams  Full glass of Scotland's national drink for bairns & former bairns!
Venue  C. (Venue 34)
Address   Chambers Street.
Reviewer   Fiona O'Hanlon.

Dude! Where's my teddy bear? is Max's recurrent line in Jonny Berliner and Sheridan Humphrey's children's musical.  The question is addressed to the audience who are attempting to help Max find his lost teddy.  Initially accompanied by his strict granny and  subsequently looked after by a cool yet responsible surfer dude, Max's adventures take him from the beach to the moon, making many new friends along the way.

The cast's energetic and enthusiastic performance holds the children's attention, and the kids' engagement with the basic yet interesting story makes them eager to participate in the show.  The flyer invites you to bring your own teddy so he too can be involved in the fun. However, if you forget you can borrow a bear at the door! 

Costumes are a key part of Dude! Where's My Teddy Bear as it is the dungarees and red t-shirt that enable tall  Ben Ockrent  to convincingly play the part of the small boy Max.  Both songs and dialogue are used effectively to convey advice such as 'you should always be cautious when visiting strange and exciting places.' A comic story interwoven with serious messages, this musical appeals to both children and adults alike.

Dude, ask your mum to find the ticket office so you can join the adventures of Max and his friends on their spectacular day!
© Fiona O'Hanlon 5th  August 2003 - Published on www.EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 24th August, daily at 10.20.
Company – Modify the Van.


The Ever After Cartoon Show (Page 9)
 Drams  full glassfull glass
Venue  Sweet at the Crowne Plaza (Venue 39)
Address   80 High Street
Reviewer   Fiona O'Hanlon

Whatever did happen to all the fairytale characters of yesteryear who lived 'happily ever after'?  I mean, what are they doing now?

This is the question which Philip Sheppard attempts to answer in The Ever After Cartoon Show, a one man comedy cartoon show which follows the stories of Chicken Licken, the three pigs, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack (of Jack and the Beanstalk fame) as they ride the rollercoaster of modern life.  In the opening scenes Chicken Licken is receiving therapy for his irrational fear that the sky is falling, whilst the three pigs have made millions from the 'wolf smasher 2000,' an invention which prevents big bad wolves coming down your chimney and eating you!

It's an imaginative concept, which is successful in that the combination of professional quality cartoons and impressive impersonations bring the characters to life in the audience's imagination.  However, the piece is marred by the incorporation of far too many characters in a much too complicated plot.  The script (which develops into a whodunnit murder mystery investigation following the death of the giant) is both too complex for oral presentation and too advanced for the average child to engage with the story.  As a result, the children fail to recognise the clever gags and word play which permeate the script. 

A commendable attempt at an innovative concept…a simpler plot would have made this a joy. 
© Fiona O'Hanlon 20th August 2003 - Published on www.EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 25th August, daily at 14.10
Company Philip Sheppard.

(A-E) 4 out of 15 Next
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