City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Princess Pumpalot -The Farting Princess Review

By Irene Brown - Posted on 06 August 2013

Princess Pumpalot on High Street in Edinburgh
Show details
Assembly Rooms
Cadis Productions and LRstageworks
Running time: 
Robin Mitchell (writer and producer), Liam Rudden (director)
Niloo-Far Khan (Princess Pumpalot), Arron Usher (Guffy / Low-Flying Gnome), Edward Cory (The King), Donna Hazelton (The Queen / Bearded Witch), Matt Robertson (Prince Niceavia / FAQ), Brett Herriot (Prince Nastavia / Geoffrey the Giraffe

A fanfare of trumpets is surely the only way to start a show about a farting Princess! Based on his successful book of the same name, writer Robin Mitchell has his work brought to life in the form of a rude and rollicking Summer pantomime.

Ordinary mortals used to get the key of the door on their 21st birthday, but Princess Pumpalot (Niloo-Far Khan) is no ordinary mortal. She doesn’t have to wait that long. When she is 16 she is given the key to a very special cabinet: a cabinet that contains 32,141 tins of magic beans, enough to last her a very long lifetime.

Everybody knows that beans make you fart, but these magic beans will turn the person allowed to eat them into a lethal weapon. In this case, Princess Pumpalot will become a farting machine to save invaders of the smiley faced Kingdom of Wiffyville, run by King Charles (Edward Cory) and Queen Winifred (Donna Hazelton) .

In true fairy tale tradition, this modern piece has a bit of love interest for the flatulent female. It takes the form of a princely fart-off between Prince Niceavia (Matt Robertson) and Prince Nastavia (Brett Herriot), when the one who can stand the stink the longest wins her hand. The rugby loving, trainer wearing royal gal however throws a spanner in the works by bonding with the ostensible commoner, Guffy (Arron Usher).

This is a smart and cheeky piece of children’s theatre from an excellent cast full of farce and self- referential jokes that allows it to appeal to adults and children alike. Like good panto and children’s shows there are lots of local references like the Scott Monument and Arthur’s Seat and a direct connection from the whole cast with the audience that encourages participation as in the giggle inducing command “Stand up, turn round, bend down and …”.

It lost some pace about half way through but that aside the madness of an Aussie giraffe who is on the palace waiting staff and learning Italian as well as the brilliant Biggles lookalike, the Low Flying Gnome, and the line about a ‘21 bum salute’ more than make up for it.

This is a healthy piece of subversion that crashes the myth that certain sections of society somehow don’t have normal bodily functions, especially after recent public events where the ridiculous phrase ‘too posh to push’ (or not) was used. Rude and very good!

Runs 1-25 August (not 12), 11am

£10-£11 (£8-£9)