Burning Down The Horse

One hundred brave (or not so brave) Trojan Soldiers are trapped inside the infamous giant wooden horse, plotting their escape…. and you get to be one of them! This is the exciting premise for Fishing 4 Chips' new production at this year's festival - Burning down the Horse. The piece is primarily a light-hearted and silly romp most suited to the sensibilities of your typical fringe-goer looking for something a bit different. Overall it engages and entertains, although if you are looking for a truly immersive bit of theatre you may feel this leaves you feeling slightly short-changed.

delightful use of puns, witty references to classic Greek mythos

The cast are likeable, with consistently sound comic timing and a range of dynamic characters. In particular, Hannah Harquart is endlessly charismatic, leading the audience through the story with formidable charm and stage presence. The show's comedic element mainly surrounds the delightful use of puns, witty references to classic Greek mythos and exaggerated characterisation. This is generally very strong and makes for a fun experience, leaving the audience giggling throughout and smiling upon exit. It has an undeniable charm and it is easy to see the appeal of this ensemble.

The actors are for the most part positioned in and among the audience. This is the primary way in which the immersive experience is created. If you are lucky enough to be sat beside one of the actors seats then you will hear small quips and responses throughout directed at only you; beside this there are occasional moments of audience interaction, however this rarely goes beyond asking an audience member their name or reading a few words out. It felt at times that the script was too stringent to allow for any of the playfulness required for the highest quality audience work, or for the audiences' presence to have any real impact on the performance.

There is a political note running throughout in terms of the nature of power, particularly in relation to workers rights. This was predominantly delivered through the character of the carpenter. While this is admirable and provided some well needed depth to the work, it did at times create a sort of tonal dissonance. While the other characters were delivered as over-the-top caricatures, the carpenter was earnest and serious. His speeches felt jarring amongst the rest of the show. This message could perhaps have been delivered just as clearly through subtext to create a nuanced piece of comedy with a more consistent atmosphere.

There is good reason for the show to be a popular ticket this festival, it provides a unique setting and is ultimately pretty fun. The cast are good and the concept is sound. If you want to see a bit of horseplay in a play about a horse this could easily be the show for you.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by Gillian Bain

Summerhall

Stuntman

★★★
Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

Wild Onion

★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

BUTCHERED

★★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Burning Down The Horse

★★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Girl Scouts vs Aliens

★★★★★
Summerhall

The Desk

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Following a sell-out 5-star production at Edinburgh Fringe '22, Fishing 4 Chips are back with Burning Down The Horse, a brand-new immersive comedy set onboard the most iconic wooden animal in history – the Trojan Horse. Whilst being wheeled towards (almost) certain doom, you'll have to contend with heroic egos, class clashes, and sword supply issues. There's only one rule: Odysseus' word is law. Oh, and for the love of gods – no naked flames! Join your fellow soldiers and experience what really went on inside the belly of the beast.

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