Grumble: Sex Clown Saves the World

Kate Bush may well have adopted a new receptacle in the form of a skimpy harlequin from down under. Self-professed ‘eco-sexual’, Betty Grumble’s surrealist, circus-themed burlesque shatters the barriers of conventional cabaret to bring a unique exhibition to the Fringe. We begin in a sea of neon fog amidst a jungle of cackling, crooning, cawing and hooting, growing to a thunderous crescendo until the house lights come up to reveal our star on her Leo-Sewell inspired stage pull her head and lime green high heels out of a dust bin. Without hesitation, Grumble dives head first into several musical numbers as she seamlessly glides from funk and disco to big band and orchestra, traversing many decades and genres to deliver in style.

In between the on-stage naked transitions and surreal, pantomime-esque stunts reliant upon shock-value lies a true virtuoso

Grumble’s hands-on approach is not for the faint-hearted, so if you choose to sit in the front row be warned. She doesn’t tickle your wrist with a feather duster, but rather clambers across several rows of audience members to lick the sweat off your neck. Though outlandish, it maintains a fine balance between camp and earthy, optimistic and sardonic. It brought to life how much can be communicated when feminist interpretation is broken down to disregard its theory-laden components with a postmodern approach to body image. And, once you buy into the concept of an ecosexual show, it’s a whole lot of fun. Indeed, the political undertones don’t dilute the entertainment on stage and Grumble doesn’t resort to screaming textbook campus slogans at the audience, but instead lampoons her patriarchal nemesis with satire whilst addressing more discernible concepts such as body image through the medium of dance. And it goes without saying that Grumble is undeniably a very talented dancer who uses every muscle in her body to leave you laughing; that includes the sexual ones too.

The act suffers in its infancy as there is no guiding introduction to just who or what Betty Grumble is, nor is there any identifiable storyline. But if this is the one thing you are still scratching your head at then you probably missed her date with sausages (yes, you heard right). In between the on-stage naked transitions and surreal, pantomime-esque stunts reliant upon shock-value lies a true virtuoso whose grasp of her audience is a hallmark of a thoroughly entertaining, completely unapologetic spectacle. Her makeup smeared, and her wig cast asunder, Grumble takes her leave and bids farewell to the sea of flabbergasted faces, now sporting a placard with the words “It doesn’t have to be the end”. Here’s hoping we haven’t seen the last of her.  

Reviews by Stuart Mckenzie

Assembly George Square Gardens

Jinkx Monsoon: She's Still Got It! (with Major Scales)

Gilded Balloon at the Pitt

Leith Social

theSpace @ Symposium Hall

007 Voices Of Bond

Mirth Meltdown @ 52 Canoes

A Pessimist's Guide to Being Happy


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



The Blurb

Grotesque and gorgeous surreal showgirl and world-famous performer Betty Grumble arrives in Edinburgh with the underground show of the festival. Experience the queen of the obscene in an odyssey of deep disco dissent. Witness her rage, her desire and her internal organs in a shamanic striptease that is 'part theatre, part comedy, part dance, part sordid burlesque and a whole lot of social commentary' ***** ( Are you Betty to Grumble? Winner: Underbelly Award 2016. Commendation for Best Cabaret, Adelaide Fringe 2016. 'Empowering... fierce, original and fresh' (

Most Popular See More

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets