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Cirque De Legume
Published on Wednesday, 11 August 2010

3 stars

Gilded Balloon Teviot (venue website)
4-30 Aug (not 16), 2:30pm (3:30pm)
Reviewed by Susannah Radford

When you think of a circus, you imagine a big top filled with an array of clowns and acrobats and a devil-may-care daring, as trapeze artists fly through the air and mere mortals tame lions whilst simultaneously flirting with death - you’ve got to wonder where the humble vegetable fits into this organised chaos.  With Cirque de Légume it takes centre stage, as two idiotic clowns take us through some familiar (and unfamiliar) circus routines equipped with a veritable variety of vegetables.

It’s an idea with potential and they pull it off to a degree.  Some of the acts are very amusing: the Spanish horse sketch with an enthusiastic carrot-loving horse is one such.  As the horse consumes copious amounts of carrots he prances, walks cross-legged and kneels down in front of a particularly hard taskmaster.  The onion striptease is also hilarious; I don’t think I’ve seen an onion sexualised before, and the actors show great commitment as the onion juice flies almost as far as the leeks have in a previous sketch. 

Other parts of the show are less successful.  “Dusty the dog's” introduction to the world of the show (and how the vegetables and clowns fit within it) doesn’t quite work.  Likewise, some of the other routines start well but go on for a little too long, leaving the sketches only mildly amusing. 

The actors are obviously talented: her quivering-cheek, wide eyed ineptness is very charming as are his more confident yet intentionally botched routines, though there is still room to develop the relationship between them.  Their ability to transform themselves into the myriad of animals on stage is impressive, and I found the sheer silliness of humans performing as clowns performing as performing animals in the seal sketch very appealing... not to mention the inherent humour in the fact that she’s very good at being a rather terrible performing seal.

As it is, Cirque de Légume is still a good show, but with a few more vegetables and a bit more tightening the whole would be greater than the sum of its parts.

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These are archived reviews of shows from the Edinburgh Fringe 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to those we've featured, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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