Comedy, Bedlam Theatre, Venue 49, 13:30 until the 16th August.
Flossy and Boo’s Curiosity Shop is every bit the show it appears to be on the retro fairground inspired flyer: a riot of overblown whimsy with a healthy smattering of ‘fantabulous’ made up words. For the most part the act is very well executed, but as you might expect from a curiosity shop, parts of it can leave you wondering what on earth you are looking at.
The show promises ‘songs, stories and silliness’ centred around the curiosity shop: a gypsy wagon that takes centre stage, loaded up with knick-knacks and adorned with bunting. An audience member is chosen to pick an object from a hat, and each object decides the story Flossy and Boo tell next. The connection between the two is sometimes unclear – a flower picked from the hat prompts the tale of an underwater search for a precious pearl – suggesting the direction of the show is not quite a flexible as Flossy and Boo would have you believe. Despite this, some of the more spontaneous improvisations in the performance show Flossy and Boo to be genuinely funny, while their well-rehearsed under-the-sea puns prompt sighs: ‘keep your friends close and your anemones closer!’
While some of Flossy and Boo’s humour will keep adults entertained the weird and wonderful props in the show are bound to pique the interest of younger audiences. There is a bubble machine, a kazoo, and a contraption that looks like a cross between a whisk and a weather vane, to name but a few. This last prop, affectionately referred to as the LOVE machine (Level Of Volunteering Enthusiasm) is used to foster a pantomime-esque fear of participation among the audience – a feeling compounded by the intimacy of the venue (Bedlam theatre seats just 90).
If a show that involves the raucous employment of two ukuleles sounds like your idea of hell, then steer well clear – unless you happen to have young children, in which case certainly bear this double act in mind. The headache you walk away with will be worth it for the joy on their faces when blue-haired Boo swoops into the audience to shower them with bubbles.
Image courtesy of © Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society”