Direct from winning the Weekly Award for Best Children’s Show at the Adelaide Fringe, circus performers Derek Llewellin and Julian Roberts have brought their fun show to Edinburgh. It's based on a subject that any child (and let’s face it, many adults) can relate to: chores suck.
Sitting through this show will not be a chore.
A voiceover of an exasperated parent orders our two protagonists that they must tidy their room or there will be no fun on their new bicycles. They immediately launch into a series of entertaining circus skills and slapstick that keeps the children cheering and the adults chuckling. From giant balls to tiny Cyr wheels, this is an inventive show that’s perfectly crafted for a young audience.
Llewellin and Roberts are mischievous siblings who trick and attack each other constantly, often encouraging the audience to take sides. There’s some very tight juggling and great business with a hat that reinforces that, whilst these guys might be acting childish, they’ve got the talent to carry the whole show. I’m particularly impressed by their flair for comedy violence. It can be difficult to walk that fine line between cartoon slapstick and setting a bad example but these guys have it down pat. The children shriek with laughter at every comical slap but no-one is worried that anyone is actually hurt.
Many of their attempts at tidying leave the stage in more disarray and some mucking about with loo roll and leaf blowers makes me feel for the stage crew who I worry will have to deal with the chaos. However, this is a show about chores and that they have to be done. These guys manage to find the fun in the task and do actually clean up the mess they’ve made and get the much-anticipated bicycle fun in the form of an extremely tall unicycle.
If you have children of any age, they will find something entertaining here; and for the adults sitting through this show, it will not be a chore.