Skip to content


The Aluminum Show
Written by Richard Stamp   

HERE'S A FREE TIP for Festival promoters: when you're bringing a show to Britain, spell its name the British way.  For a while, as I fruitlessly searched the Fringe website for The Aluminium Show, I was convinced it must have been cancelled.  But it's right there under Aluminum, and thank goodness I was wrong - for this high-energy, clean-fun, shiny-shiny dance extravaganza looks set to be one of the highlights of this year's Fringe.

But first things first.  Yes, this really is a show about a metal; the one with, if I remember from my schooldays, atomic number 13.  But there's no science involved in this hour-long celebration - just fun, glitz, and lots of tin-foil.   Oh, and dancers hidden inside overgrown Slinkies.

There are the big fellahs, the Michelin Man Slinkies, who dance, high-five and play together in a bombastic explosion of pure joy.  Then there's the puppet Slinky: in an intricate but audaciously simple routine, this tiny tube of tin-foil works up an almost human personality, playful, fearful, trembling, shy.  And best of all, there are the singing Slinkies, whose medley takes in The Skye Boat Song and Bohemian Rhapsody via everything in between.  Everything's so delightfully unexpected and so utterly bizarre - but, somehow, seems so perfectly right.

With no theme other than the shiny stuff, the show relies on non-stop surprise and innovation - and if there's one criticism to be made, it's that a few of the less pacy numbers do go on a bit too long.  One scene, set on a factory production line, seems to last forever; you'll squeal with delight when you finally realise what it is they're making, but the end doesn't quite justify the means.  But then the pace picks up again as six black-clad, hooded performers guide a giant metal puppet through a playful dance, constantly shifting and reconstructing its body as it sways and gyrates to a Middle Eastern theme.

Only near the end did the human dancers at least show themselves, taking their curtain calls in a series of progressively more outlandish costumes and at last revealing a little of how it had all been done.  The torchlit, rhythmic final number's almost magical and, though I'm not going to spoil any surprises, let's say you'll have a few opportunities to join in.

There's nothing deep and meaningful about this show - but really, who cares?  It was happy, it was unthreatening, it was an hour's escapist fun for kids and adults alike.  And at the very end - when the show wheeled out its literal big guns, showering the massive Pleasance Grand with tin-foil - every single person wanted to catch a little piece of the shine to take back home.

A special note from our reviewer:  To make the most of this show, Richard recommends you get in the queue early and take a seat in the central section of the Pleasance Grand.

<< Evolution / All The Plane...   Jon Cleary and the Absolu... >>


These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2008.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

Current reviews >>

Edinburgh 2013

Coming to the Fringe this year?  We can help you make the most of your time.  Learn about Edinburgh's summer Festivals and plan your visit around the city's major events. 

Find out more >>

Top Reviews

[ A-Z ] [ Recent ] [ Best ]