Brighton Fringe 2015
Mime, clowning and silliness come together for this infectious hour where there’s a lot of energy under the hood(s).
As the tagline says, they’re cute, they’re mute. Ploughing your way through the Fringe brochure, coming across the phrase ‘family friendly’ is something of a double edged sword. With no swords. And probably not much edge. Sure, when you’ve got a family and a budget, it’s understandable that you’ll want to spend your hard earned cash on a show that quite genuinely pleases everyone, young and old. That ‘family friendly’ line, though. Too often that might indicate a certain level of blandness.
Thankfully, there’s no risk of that here, in a show that is gleefully infectious for the kids, as well as being whip-smart for the grown ups. It’s probably true that there’s enough space for slightly darker moments that will appeal to the adults while sailing over the heads of the kids, such as the sequence where both Kagools are unblinkingly obsessed with an audience member, but what really comes across is a sense of kindness. Those audience members, for instance: nobody has to participate who doesn’t want to, and those that are reluctant to play along are treated with respect and compassion: the Kagools are your cool – and slightly batty – older sisters. One of the most interesting things about the show is how successfully the performers play with pause and silence. As you might imagine, this is quite a neat trick in a show in which nobody says anything in the first place. There are several moments of gorgeous tension: kids in the audience giggling in delight because the Kagools are not quite doing something .. yet. The show can be summed up, essentially, in three words: silly, sweet, lovely. This is not, as it might sound, dammed faint praise.
There’s the very pleasing sense that the DNA of this show very likely can be traced back to a couple of university roommates clowning around in front of the mirror for their own amusement. Now, luckily, we’re being let in on the joke. Performers Nicola Wilkinson and Claire Ford (together, they have the razor sharp name of Wilkinson Ford) riff off each other with ease. There are lots of clever gags (maybe even slightly too many) that have the performers on stage interact with pre-recorded video, which display a unique riff on clowning. There’s not much of a narrative here, but that said, there doesn’t really need to be. The Kagools act like children at play, easily distracted by the next funny thing (like which of them has the better sweets), while persuaded to revisit old obsessions and jokes. In this, any children in the audience will swiftly recognise kindred spirits, and will likely demand a shopping trip to the wet weather gear department of your local clothing store.