It is often a challenge to take a piece of original writing that has already achieved success at the Fringe and do something new with it. Adventures of Butt Boy and Tigger is an online love story by Steven Dawson, which received international acclaim upon its debut. It is now revived by its creators, Out Cast Theatre, with the intention of doing just that – and so with Dawson’s blessing and a new UK cast, we are ready and waiting for the aforementioned adventures to blow us away.
I have every hope that this oddly sweet adventure will be just as epically funny as its Edinburgh Fringe debut
Bradley Curran’s ‘Tigger’ and Harry Franklin’s ‘Butt Boy’ (Grindr profile names which are used ubiquitously throughout) make an unlikely pairing, and they conduct a relationship almost entirely via text message. We have a cocky, stocky, "probably the naughty kid at school" in Curran, who takes the lead in bringing Franklin’s nervous, inexperienced Butt Boy out of his shell. Together, they do a very enjoyable job of walking the line between anonymous flirtation and intimate connection that is the hallmark of modern dating.
With such a teasing title, one expects a saucy romp through some pretty fantastical scenarios, and Out Cast Theatre are happy to oblige. Well-known pornographic genres are deftly explored to their orgasmic conclusions as the singular box onstage becomes a locker room bench, an obliging hay bale and the mess table of a World War I officer in turn. A fantasy shared is not always a fantasy realised, however, and the comic breaks throughout each steamy affair to bicker over the details are an endearing reminder that two souls do not always see eye-to-eye on what exactly makes the perfect romance.
As the horny scenarios continue, we start to see a discrepancy emerge between the two characters, as one’s quest for love becomes at odds with the lust-driven wanderings of the other. This is what sets Adventures apart from a show that is simply playing sex for laughs, although laughs there are a-plenty. Like the feather light touches of humanity such as the mention of real names, or the dreaded ‘L’ word. These are pinpoints which start to pull apart this fantasy world, bringing with them the realisation that all adventures must at some point come to an end.
More touches like these would have brought more depth to the sometimes protracted text-chat sequences of the show, for which a more dynamic direction would not have gone amiss. Our adorable duo’s delivery of Dawson’s script wasn’t always strong enough to keep the pace going either, and some laughs were missed thanks to a rushed punchline or two. Thankfully this is all fixable, and I have every hope that this oddly sweet adventure will be just as epically funny as its Edinburgh Fringe debut in 2008.