Pie Eyed

A theme seems to be developing within this years Fringe. Yet again I am up on stage. This time I am sitting with my back to the audience wearing a red party hat having had happy birthday sung to me (it's not my birthday) and now I am being given a striptease, complete with squirty cream, only this Actor strips down to multiple nappies, each one containing a child's toy. Eventually he pulls out a bottle of milk pours it over his chest and sits on my lap crying. This definitely wins the award for the weirdest fringe experience.

Pie eyed is performed by Chalk Dust Cabaret Collective and is an eclectic series of sketches and burlesque style cabaret acts loosely linked by a theme of alcohol; particularly what happens when you have too much. This show is original and is certainly immersive; if you hate audience participation this is definitely not the show for you. There is a hula hooping frog in a tiny bikini who cooks herself to death, a sexy rabbit who kills herself by drinking her blood, a waiter who has an amorous relationship with a table and a lady waiting for her late lover who discovers a rainforest in her dress amongst other surreal acts. All these skits are linked together by a charismatic MC who interacts with and speaks directly to the audience. Although there is no direct narrative the show is entertaining and the performers are likeable. There are moments when we get to see flashes of real talent, particularly the final song performed by the MC, an operatic aria sung beautifully. Other stand out performances include the actress singing as a drunk bride-to-be and the actress who performed sexy dances for male audience members who were made to wear beer goggles. Plus the lady throwing shapes made me smile.

I will be interested to see what Chalk Dust Cabaret Collective do next as I think they are a company with an exciting future. The show needs more structure and some of the sketches are too long as we grasp the idea right at the start, but they are original and interesting. Just grab some Dutch courage from the bar before you venture in to their club.

Reviews by Lou Rogers

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The Blurb

After their sell-out show at The Roundhouse, London, Chalk Dust Cabaret Collective bring Pie Eyed to Brighton Fringe. An interactive show musing on booze culture and promising grotesque caricatures of familiar social archetypes. A typical night out in Brighton? Thought you could escape your local? Not tonight. Something fishy's afoot…