FRINGE REVIEW – Blam!

*****

Fringe 2013

Are you a fan of action movies?

Are you such a big fan of action movies that you sometimes make a gun with your fingers and pretend that you’re in one?

The four athletically hyperactive performers from Denmark’s Neander certainly are. Stuck in a crushingly dull world of spreadsheets and overflowing inboxes, they alleviate their tedium by pretending to be movie heroes, using staplers and coatstands as semi-automatic weapons and ducking for cover behind their office cubicles.

But it’s only when their unlikeable boss decides he wants a piece of the action that things really step up a gear. Grudgingly, the co-workers let him in on their testosterone-fuelled high jinks and before they know it their workplace has transformed into a larger-than-life high-octane movie set.

And not just one movie, either. As the performers vault across office furniture and swing from strip-lights, their escapades take inspiration from the biggest and the best. Pitch-perfect fight choreography sees them leap from martial arts movies to sci-fi blockbusters; vignettes pay homage to Reservoir Dogs and Apocalypse Now — in fact, one of the many things to enjoy about this constantly thrilling performance is spotting the quick-fire references.

But you don’t need to be an action movie aficionado to get the most out of Blam! After a relatively gentle start, the physical feats on stage are relentless and impressive, with the performers drenched in sweat by their superhero-inspired finale. Then, after a likeable and amusing bromance male bonding scene at the end, it’s over — and the audience are on their feet, almost as breathless as the cast.

This show already looks set to be one of the tickets at this year’s Fringe, on the strength of its original premise and remarkable physical performances.

And, like all the best action movies, you’ll find yourself dearly hoping for a sequel.

Blam! is at Pleasance Grand at 17.55 until 26 August

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