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Home arrow Archive: EdFringe 2013 arrow Boris & Sergey II Perilous Escapade
Boris & Sergey II Perilous Escapade
Published on Friday, 23 August 2013

3 stars

Pleasance Courtyard (venue website)
31 Jul, 1-12, 14-20, 22-26 Aug, 11:10pm-12:10am
Reviewed by Jane Bristow

 Recommended for age 12+ only.

Although technically a sequel to last year’s sell-out hit, Boris and Sergey’s Vaudevillian Adventure, there’s no need to have seen the first part to enjoy the latest offering from these lewd yet artistic puppets. In this new show, they tell the story of their latest adventure – their escape from the underworld, where their last escapade has (deservedly) left them. For newcomers to Flabbergast Theatre’s raucous creation, there’s a recap to explain what’s going on. Not that it makes a lot of sense anyway.

Centring on the two weirdly-lovable puppets, the show begins with a pop culture-montage showing Sergey and Boris in iconic film scenes, before both literally burst onto stage along with their puppeteer entourage.  The audience learns they have just broken out of Hell – these are not cuddly puppets – and the formerly-appalling Sergey is now partly paralysed. There’s a brief outline of the previous episode to make sure the audience can follow the plot, which then smoothly leans into what becomes the point of the show: how they escaped the evil clutches of some demons and a glowing, floating orb. 

Boris – the nicer of the two puppets – starts out in limbo, but loyally sets out to find his erstwhile brother, chained up in a dungeon in Hell. As both of them look like some sort of S&M accessories, it seems oddly fitting that this is where Sergey’s ended up. There’s also much humour in their contrasting tactics, with Sergey doing battle 300-style with demons - ‘shit went down’ as he puts it –  whilst Boris befriends a butterfly, and bores a demon he meets to the point of suicide. Along the way there’s some good audience interaction, which in my case allowed the puppeteers to display their skills by making Boris tap dance for the audience. 

At times it did seem that the scenes dragged on, purely for the benefit of the puppeteers rather than the audience. There’s a lot of making the two puppets fall through the air – which although artistic and clearly very difficult, did let down the overall pace of the show. Saying that, at times it was easy to forget that these two featureless leather puppets had people manipulating them all, because their movement seemed so naturalistic.

Entertaining as the show undoubtedly was, it was hard not to compare it with the Vaudevillian Adventure, which set the bar very high for the sequel. For that reason alone, Perilous Escapade didn’t quite live up to expectations. Still, Sergey and Boris are the ultimate lovable rogues, and despite their potty mouths they somehow manage to remain endearing throughout. I look forward to the next crazy chapter in their adventure.

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