Hosted by some occasionally fallible blues band members and housed in “deepest, darkest Dorset”,
These are very, very funny men and to miss this hilarious culmination of their collective output would be a great mistake.
The show is very original, but Edinburgh has seen Inheritance Blues before. DugOut’s production garnered a very warm reception two years ago at Bedlam Theatre. The company has streamlined the plot, cut off the excess and moved into Pleasance for this year’s honed production with the same cast. Director George Chilcott tells me the original lacked a clear focus on a single protagonist or plot-arc, but the apparent past problems are certainly absent in this well-structured piece.
In this particular performance, an unfortunate blow during some stage combat did leave one performer with blood running from his forehead, but this allowed the cast’s improvisational skills to really shine through. Never ones to lose their cool, DugOut fiddle on their instruments and laugh with each other as Henry Perryment gets cleaned up and bandaged, before simply carrying on with an audience now wholly enamoured. The flexible inclusion of jokes and references to the incident in the piece thereon is a true testament to the cast’s theatrical ability.
The show’s strongest suit is its light touch. The slight choreography in the musical interludes; ease of the impressive musical talent; ad-libs and freedom of improvisation in more surreal scenes; nods of acknowledgement after a roar of laughter: all showcase a determination to enjoy every second of their time onstage. It is virtually impossible not to join in.
The devised nature of Inheritance Blues also aids it beautifully. For the show’s sheer mass of gags and ideas to come from a single mind would be inconceivable. These are very, very funny men and to miss this hilarious culmination of their collective output would be a great mistake. An exciting and creative company who ought to be on everyone’s Fringe radar.