Plague of Idiots

If you are looking for the silliest Shakespeare at the Fringe, look no further. Bizarre and brilliant in equal measure, Plague of Idiots ploughs through sketch after sketch of surreal hilarity with nonstop energy and enthusiasm. Trained at the internationally renowned school of Philippe Gaulier, this grouphas created an expert blend of clowning tradition, Shakespeare parody and cheeky modern references that defies expectations at every turn.

Audience expectations are constantly subverted, with sublime punchlines pulling resolutions out of thin air.

This evening of madness is MC’d by charismatic host Gary Star, played by Damien Warren-Smith, who introduces each performer in turn (including those who don’t wait their turn) and attempts to restore order throughout the show. Warren-Smith’s pokerface is an excellent canvas for his tongue in cheek monologues, particularly those involving audience interaction - I don’t blame him for struggling at times to keep this same composure when the rest of the group is onstage.

It feels completely impossible to predict what will happen from moment to moment; audience expectations are constantly subverted, with sublime punchlines pulling resolutions out of thin air. Each performer owns a clearly defined character and plays to their strengths; Richard Kimberly is a master of the unspoken word, using pauses and facial expressions that are simultaneously apologetic and incredibly cheeky, whilst Fanny Duret makes a wonderfully frustrated Juliet to Warren-Smith’s hapless Romeo. Giorgio Vierda is lovably, deceptively useless as Gary Star’s ‘protegé’ and there are simply no words to describe Laurent Mallet’s solo rendition of Singing In The Rain; suffice to say that it is one of the most sublimely hysterical highlights of the show. Every sketch is amusing, with golden moments from each performer, although some concepts perhaps don’t receive the payoff they anticipate.

Whilst this group are a plague inasmuch as they are relentlessly and unstoppably silly, idiots they certainly are not. Plague of Idiots has been impeccably crafted for your amusement, and while some moments may leave you baffled, most will put a huge grin on your face for the rest of the evening.

Reviews by Katie Rose

Pleasance Dome

Stardust

★★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

dressed.

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

And Before I Forget I Love You, I Love You

★★★★★
Summerhall

Achilles

★★★
Pleasance at EICC

The Lost Things

★★★
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows

Courtney Act: Under the Covers

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

This summer, for the first time in the history of the world, Plague of Idiots bring their simple, beautiful idiocy to Edinburgh. A fist-full of Gaulier-trained clowns from France, Italy, England and Australia storm the Fringe with such ridiculousness you will never again question your own intelligence. 'Hilariously stupid' (West Australian), 'A feast for the young at heart' ***** (GossamerMagazine.com.au), 'A wonderful night of pure absurdity' **** (Clothesline.com.au), **** 'Side-splitting humour would be no exaggeration' (TheUpsideNews.com).