Friday, August 01, 2008

"You Don't Need To Know That" - Edinburgh Fringe 2008

Standing in the queue before Gonzo Moose's "You Don't Need To Know That" my concern grew that I was about to witness the company learn Lesson No.26 in Fringe marketing - "Sometimes no audience is better than the wrong audience". As groups of parents with children under 8 seemed to make up most of those waiting I was more than a little worried just how this "Kafkaesque nightmare" would stand up to such a tough audience.

But this high energy performance quickly won them over with some dazzling verbal and physical comedy. The cast of three blast their way through 75 minutes of high octane gags, and while any deeper message may be pushed to the edges of the piece it's genuinely entertaining stuff.

As the accused Beresford Jones, Mark Conway engages with the audience in a friendly manner and appeared to cleverly improv some changes to reflect the younger than expected audience (and to his credit he playfully made the most of one of the piece's more 'adult' gags when it may have been tempting to quickly gloss over it.)

Ellie Harley and Angus Barr impressively play the numerous characters Beresford encounters in his journey through the justice system. Barr is given an inspired moment of audience participation as The Librarian, while Harley gets her moment to shine as she simultaneously plays Judge and witnesses to great comic effect.

Daft, silly, but always clever. This is old school knockabout fun that evokes memories of 'Morcambe and Wise' - you'd have to be made of stone not to leave with a smile on your face.

"You Don't Need To Know That" runs at the Pleasance until 25th August (excluding the 11th) at 3.15pm. We saw this on 31st July and have confirmed with the production that they are happy for us to comment on a performance so early in the run.

Image used with permission