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Edinburgh Fringe 2009

Fhlip Fhlop

Rannel Theatre Company

Venue: Zoo Southside


Low Down

 Joey and Matt are bored with decorating a friend’s flat. They’d rather play with the gadgets and equipment in the place but things start to go wrong from the start as the technology seems to have a mind of its own. Innovative sound and movement populate this show with some real “foot–tapping” beats.


Tommy does all my decorating. He comes across from Peebles, lets himself in and just gets on with it.   He’s quite happy with Radio 4 or a Talking Book and doesn’t mind that his job involves supervising paint dry, slowly. You’d hardly know he’d been in, except for the smell of fresh paint.

Not so Matt and Joey, two guys for whom a decorating job is a bore. Tasked with doing up friend Dave’s gadget laden flat they find the distractions of this boy’s toys too tempting to resist and, with rhythms in their heads, take refuge during their break in creating hip-hop and beat box as well as MC-ing, or sometimes they go for a combination of all three.   And that’s where the trouble starts!
Though billed as dance/physical theatre with a comedic story line, it’s more the other way around. You’re expecting some creative dialogue – two young lads, lots of potential for mischief – but the wafer thin plot merely involves a bit of mildly amusing craic about girls, money (or the perpetual lack of it) and the amazing things in the flat.
Still, whilst waiting for these two strut their stuff, we are entertained by some innovative voice percussion and technologically savvy MC-ing. When they finally break into dancing it’s through simple but clever movement synchronized with some sophisticated sound and lighting effects. You can see the strength of this act when they really take the brakes off; the movement borders on the acrobatic and the piece where they used pictures on LP sleeves (remember them?) as faces to imitate dance forms appropriate to the artist on the cover was particularly effective.
But the story wanders around aimlessly, rather like our two decorators and you start to wonder what it’s all about. There is a good show in here waiting to come out, and someone must like it as it toured very successfully last year.   The Fringe Sunday audience here enjoyed it too, but take 20 minutes off the dialogue and put back in 10 minutes of dancing and/or voice percussion (the duos real strengths), and you would have a much tighter piece.   It’s still worth a visit if you want to see great sound/light/techno combinations and some top quality dancing. But if it’s all the same to you, I will stick with Tommy as my decorator, he’s that bit more focused and definitely not as messy as Joey and Matt.


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