Double Edge’s Almost Nothing to Do with Frogs is a witty modern interpretation, and sometimes parody, of the Ancient Greek play The Frogs by Aristophanes. Employing the same framework of the journey to the underworld to revive great writers of the past, Double Edge successfully updates the humour to the 21st century.
As a piece of new writing it is, for the most part, incredibly successful. The characters of Shakespeare, Pinter, and Marlow are a particularly good example of these boys’ ability to write shrewdly perceptive and comedic lines (we must not forget they are still in school). On occasion perhaps too academic for the younger members of the audience, these moments certainly deserved more laughter than they received. Unfortunately, some of the dialogue early on in the play, before they moved to the realm of the underworld, felt slightly laboured and not entirely natural - this is only a minor criticism and can surely be easily revised.
By far the most entertaining element of the play comes from the Frogs themselves. Re-imagined as a three piece rock band, these boys still retain the chorus role so crucial to the original, playing everybody from Sir Alan Sugar to Cerberus and flight attendants to Hercules. In addition, their segments feature original music, and sometimes dancing, that are entertaining and comprised of cleverly composed lyrics.
Double Edge has produced some starring leading names in the theatre industry over the last decade or so. Their decision to collaborate with Eton College for this year’s Fringe has been immensely positive, giving these young and very talented boys an ample opportunity to showcase their ability on a greater scale.