Welcome to the Atomic Saloon: a place where the beer is flowing and anything goes, so long as you can afford it…
It seems the Atomic Saloon lives up to its mischievous reputation
Madam Boozy Skunkton is our host for the evening – the straight-talking, discipline-loving and knee-slapping proprietor of the establishment. What she lacks in decorum she more than makes up for in charisma; taking the audience under her wing and setting the tone for the evening. She is faithfully aided by singing cowboy extraordinaire Blue, whose foul-mouthed introductory remarks has the crowd in stitches and whose cowhide chaps leave little to the imagination.
Throughout the course of the evening we are introduced to a motley crew of miscreants – from Boozy’s Irish cousins to the local Mayor (who, for some reason, manages to lose his clothes in a mysterious accident). It seems the Atomic Saloon lives up to its mischevious reputation, with thongs disappearing into clouds of confetti and more sins than the Preacher can handle.
It is a high-budget production and certainly makes for an entertaining evening, although beyond this it can be difficult to find much consistency within the show itself. Whilst certain acrobatic moments stand out, cracks soon appear behind the façade of the Wild West – although it is a minimal detail amongst the aerial artistry and holy ping pong balls.
Certainly a number of the punchlines involved are outdated, scraping for cheap laughs in the uncomfortable sexualisation of same-sex audience interaction. Equally, the audience interaction itself relies predominantly on the discomfort of those selected – particularly during a scene in which unsuspecting individuals are forced to engage in a spaghetti-fuelled four-way kiss. It is an unnecessary side-track and one which undermines the genuine talent of the performers.
That said, Atomic Saloon Show stands as an impressive benchmark of exactly what Fringe theatre is capable of.