Edinburgh Fringe Review: The Flop, A Band of Idiots, PBH's Free Fringe @ Banshee Labyrinth

Edinburgh Fringe Review: The Flop, A Band of Idiots, PBH's Free Fringe @ Banshee Labyrinth
Three men wearing ill-fitted old fashioned pastel suits bound onto the stage.   We are about to see the greatest band in the history of the world.  The Flop!
Except nothing happens.
The men twitch and fidget, tugging at their sleeves and smoothing down strange bumps in their clothing.
And where are all their instruments?
Cammy Sinclair, Dan Lees and Tom Penn exploit the silence and awkwardness for an excruciatingly long time - until gradually all the audience start to laugh.
And after that we laugh and laugh and don’t stop.
Eventually Sinclair, who is also wearing a fluorescent knitted crown, produces a beat.  He uses an item of footwear, a plastic pig, a wind up rattle.  A tiny noise emerges, which becomes a rhythm and then a tune.
Tom Penn produces a double bass and then a violin Dan Lees has an electric guitar.  And out of the rubble of children’s toys Sinclair eventually finds a cymbal and a drum.
The gig stops and starts and collapses again - just when you think it is coming together it falls apart.  Penn keeps producing his double bass from behind a curtain and hiding it again.  The curtains collapse.  Eggs fly through the air.
At one point all three members of the band appear with metronomes strapped to their heads.
When the music eventually emerges it is a miracle.  We are delighted when these three idiots finally manage to produce bursts of jazz, blues, country and rock and roll, with sublime nonsensical wordless lyrics contributed by Lees.
We start to believe in this Band of Idiots.  We know however hesitantly their tunes begin, they will always go somewhere, and briefly, become something wonderful.
Whatever happens on stage our musical heroes are utterly straight faced and eager to please. The fumbling, the collapsing set, the furtive whispers and the ridiculous wordless announcements are uproariously funny and we love The Flops more and more.
Finally, after a therapeutic bout of primal screaming, the audience become devoted fans.   We roar and yell, we sing along to incomprehensible lyrics and finally we end up dancing on the seats.
It’s a total Fringe experience. An absolute riot.

The Flop run has now finished - if new dates added we'll let you know,

five stars


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