• By Tom King
  • |
  • 15th Aug 2012
  • |
  • ★★★★

God, I love talented people. And I don't just mean oh-she's-quite-a-good-singer or oh-he's-quite-funny talented. I mean properly accomplished.And this is exactly how I'd describe Bowjangles, the hyperactive string quartet behind 'Bowlympics'. Not only are they superb musicians but they combine this talent with tuneful singing voices and a surprising gift for physical comedy. The four have obviously worked hard to make their potentially-inaccessible art light and fun and they've pulled it off in spades.Mixing orchestral pieces as diverse as The Blue Danube and The Dambusters, the show follows the pattern of a good old-fashioned British sports broadcast, complete with 'messages' from the sponsors. Each event forms the backbone for a musical medley loosely based around it.Particular favourites for me were the superbly-choreographed tennis and fencing matches, backed by fast, spirited classics, the foursome clashing bows and plucking strings with wild abandon. Rowing, the basis for an imaginative Guys and Dolls/ABBA medley, also provides a nice gear change to showtune from symphony.As the performers make their way through these skits, throwing themselves every whichway across the stage, never once do they drop a note. Special recognition has to go to the diminutive Ezme Gaze, bowed double (sorry) under the weight of the baby cello she ably threw around the stage. However, with Ed Bruggemeyer and Mitch McGugan ably mugging along and Bertie Anderson's awesome pipes for loud riotous support, the entire cast contribute to ensure there is never a dull moment.There were, admittedly, a couple of minor niggles. The script is slightly overreliant on 'bow' puns and the occasional attempts at topical humour feel forced. However, these are minor faults in a show that kept an audience from six-years-old to sixty amused. After a hard day, Bowlympics raised my spirits and refreshed my theatrical palate. Pure gold.

Reviews by Tom King

Underbelly, Cowgate

Lucy Farrett: Lois

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

She Sells Sea Shells

★★★★
Summerhall

A Fortunate Man

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square / Underbelly, Cowgate

The Cat's Mother

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Phill Jupitus: Sassy Knack

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Nigel Slater’s Toast

★★★

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The Blurb

A hilarious take on this years' excitement, this show sees the musicians attempting fencing, rowing, gymnastics, boxing and more all whilst simultaneously playing, singing and dancing, in an action packed performance which will delight and exhaust you from your seats.

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