FRINGE REVIEW – The Crack, Assembly Princes Street Gardens

*****

5 – 29 Aug 2130 (2300) @ Assembly Princes Street Gardens

By Danielle Farrow

A devil in a red dress, Miss Behave compères The Crack with confident control and challenging cheer, while providing a fair few gasps – and squirms – with her own impressive circus skills. Stage set-ups are excellently covered by Dr Stewart’s hilarious mime/dance routines, and the Crack provides mixed entertainment with energy.
 
On this particular night, Jon Hicks’ intriguing and controlled art act held an audience that appreciated his pay off, but the performers seemed to be expecting a more rowdy, drink-fuelled crowd, Canadian duo Hotnuts & Popcorn in particular, whose daft sex and swearing antics did not impress many, but who used this to show some skill in working a crowd. In fact, alcohol was more in evidence on stage than in the audience. Kalki Hula Girl put the demon drink to brilliantly funny and highly skilled hoop work, but while Phil Kay’s absurd songs pushed and pulled the audience as far as belly-laughs, he seemed to have succumbed over much by the end – performance or not? A couple of acts became a bit ragged, throwing energy away, though Paul Morocco’s comedy hapless ‘international’ musician spilled his balls entertainingly enough despite this.
 
The highlight of the show, however, were the guests – Paul Zerdin and his ‘innocently’ insulting foam friend Sam, who had everyone in stitches, stimulated even unsought audience participation and showed how ventriloquism is back firmly as top entertainment. You can catch him at Assembly George Street in his own show – and watch out for being caught by him in everyday life: the man’s a guerrilla ventriloquist!

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